Bangkok (Thailand) – January 7, 2015 – Thirayuth Chirathivat, Chief Executive Officer of Centara Hotels & Resorts, has announced the appointment of Markland Blaiklock as Chief Operating Officer. Markland is a Canadian national and previous to joining Centara was Senior Vice President of Sofitel Asia Pacific, responsible for the operations of 54 Sofitel branded hotels and resorts in the region. Educated in England and in France, Markland began his career in Finance at Hilton International in Orly, France.
From there he joined Le Meridien as Assistant Financial Controller and progressed through hotels in Montreal, New York, where he was promoted to Financial Controller, Houston, San Francisco and Vancouver before in 1988 being appointed Resident Manager at Le Meridien Hotel in Vancouver.
In 1990, Markland was appointed Executive Assistant Manager at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort in Sabah, East Malaysia, and two years later became Manager of Traders Hotel in Beijing. In 1993, Markland became General Manager of Shangri-La Beijing, and in 1996 was appointed Area Manager for the Philippines and General Manager of Makati Shangri-La Manila.
His next move was to Singapore in 2001, where he was Managing Director of Raffles City Hotels and Convention Centre. Two years later he became Managing Director of Raffles Hotels & Resorts, a position he held until 2005, when he became Executive Director of hotel operations at Wynn Macau.
Markland was appointed Chief Executive Officer at Grande Asset Hotels & Property, a publicly listed company majority owned by Lehman Brothers, in 2007, and then in late 2008 he joined Sofitel Asia Pacific, from where he joins Centara.
In his role as COO, Markland will report directly to the CEO, Thirayuth Chirathivat. He is primarily responsible for the performance of the 43 operating hotels and resorts and 31 properties under development.
Centara Hotels & Resorts is Thailand’s leading operator of hotels, with 48 deluxe and first-class properties covering all the major tourist destinations in the Kingdom. A further 26 resorts in Maldives, Vietnam, Bali, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Qatar, Laos and Oman brings the present total to 74 properties. Brands and properties within Centara ensure that specific categories such as couples, families, individuals, and meetings and incentives groups will all find a hotel or resort that is appropriate to their needs. Centara operates 30 branches of Spa Cenvaree, one of Thailand’s most luxurious and innovative spa brands, together with 7 branches of the value brand Cense by Spa Cenvaree, which provides core spa services for busy travellers. The company’s Kids’ Club is available at all the family-friendly resorts to ensure that the youngsters and teens have their own leisure zone. Centara also operates three state-of-the-art convention centres in Bangkok, and two in northeastern Thailand, one being located in Udon Thani and the other in Khon Kaen. The latest Centara brand is named COSI Hotels, an affordable lifestyle brand designed for travellers who predominantly make their bookings via the internet and who want comfort and convenience at affordable prices; the brand is under development with the first property due to open in 2016.