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Michael Ayling, staying on Phuket in a new role beyond Laguna Phuket

Laguna Phuket's Top Man Moves On: Changes Forecast

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
PHUKET: A replacement for Michael Ayling as Mananging Director of Laguna Phuket's seven resorts and property and travel businesses is expected to come from within the organisation later this year, Phuketwan has learned.

Mr Ayling will leave Phuket's famous destination resort on May 31 after 11 years in various roles at Laguna Phuket and as Managing Director since 2006, a media release said today.

He replaced James Batt, who also had a long and successful tenure at the well-regarded resort complex.

Deputy Managing Director Ziya Bikram is to run the Laguna Phuket operation until there is a formal announcement of a new MD appointment, Phuketwan learned today.

Mr Ayling is in China at present and unavailable for comment but it's believed he will stay on Phuket and run his own business once he leaves.

He has overseen the expansion of the Laguna Phuket brand to Vietnam where a similar destination resort is being built, and considerable success in property sales during good and bad times in the industry on Phuket.

Insiders at Laguna Phuket say Mr Ayling's modest style belies the intense political and financial skills required to maintain harmony across a big organisation with a variety of resort brands.

Major announcements are expected to come later this year as Laguna Phuket celebrates 25 years on Phuket and looks ahead. More operating synergies are expected with Banyan Tree, the international group that had its beginnings decades ago as a single resort at Laguna Phuket.

''A further announcement on Laguna Phuket's management structure is subject to Board approval and will be made in due course,'' today's announcement says.

Development of the Laguna Phuket complex remains one of the most remarkable tourism sucess stories in Thailand and the region, with the visionary Ho brothers from Singapore buying a tin mine wasteland and turning it into a landscaped lagoon haven.

Laguna Phuket and Banyan Tree pioneered pool villas and were quick to realise the synergies between resorts and property development on Phuket. The brand has also more recently moved into tours and travel.

Coming up, Laguna Phuket will play host in April and May to more than 15,000 visitors from Amway China, the largest ever influx of one group on Phuket.

The resort complex currently consists of the Banyan Tree Phuket, Angsana Laguna Phuket, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, Laguna Beach Resort, Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort & Villas, Best Western Allamanda Laguna Phuket, and Laguna Holiday Club Resort ''all sharing 1000 acres of tropical parkland and three kilometres of beach frontage with Laguna Phuket Golf Club, Canal Shopping Village, Banyan Tree Spa, four Angsana Spas, Laguna Wedding Chapel, the Quest team building facility, and Latitude, a unique stand-alone function venue.''

The full text of today's release is as follows:

Michael Ayling, Managing Director, Laguna Resorts & Hotels
Michael Ayling, Managing Director of Laguna Resorts & Hotels Plc, the company that owns and operates Laguna Phuket, will leave the company on 31 May 2012 to pursue further business interests.

Mr Ayling has spent more than 11 years with Laguna Resorts & Hotels. He joined in 2000 as Assistant Vice President Finance, before being promoted to Deputy Managing Director/ Vice President Finance in 2005 and to his current role in 2006.

During his tenure Laguna Phuket has become recognised as Asia's leading lifestyle destination resort and a similar project, Laguna Lang Co, has been launched in central Vietnam.

A further announcement on Laguna Phukets management structure is subject to Board approval and will be made in due course.


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Thursday March 23, 2023
Phuketwan - Your sweet Phuket, every day


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