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Resort guru Michael Ayling joins Royal Phuket Marina

Legacy Phuket Gazette




PHUKET: Michael Ayling, former Managing Director of Laguna Resorts & Hotels, today began his new role as Managing Director/General Manager at Royal Phuket Marina (RPM).

“The goal is to make RPM a destination, not just a marina, and Michael has vast experience in this field,” RPM Chairman Gulu Lalvani told the Phuket Gazette this morning.

Mr Lalvani also revealed plans for RPM to develop several high-end hotels to open in 2017.

Mert Ulusoy will continue in his current role as General Manager until the end of the month, Mr Lalvani confirmed.

“He will be leaving to pursue other interests. On behalf of the entire team at RPM, I wish him every success in his new endeavors,” Mr Lalvani said.

The overlap in work roles is to “allow ample time for a seamless handover”, he added.

Mr Ayling, British by birth but now also an Australian national, resigned from his position with Laguna Hotels & Resorts on May 31, 2012 after 12 successful years with the company. He resigned to become a private consultant.

“Michael Ayling has enjoyed a varied career spanning three continents in the disciplines of finance and general management in the financial services, hotel, hospitality and property development sectors,” Mr Lalvani said.

“He brings with him a wealth of relevant experience to help make Royal Phuket Marina ‘the’ destination in Phuket.”

Mr Ayling has significant experience in the management and development of integrated resorts through his positions as Finance Director, and then Managing Director, of Laguna Resorts & Hotels, for a total of 12 years, during which he was responsible for:

  • Overseeing eight hotels (including two Banyan Trees, a Dusit Thani and a Sheraton Grande)
  • The Laguna Phuket golf course
  • Property development, construction, marketing and sales operations for about 300 residences
  • A vacation ownership program
  • Estate management and rental pool operations
  • Establishing and managing numerous corporate juristic entities (CJEs) for condominiums throughout Laguna Phuket
  • A central facilities management operation (including laundry, landscaping and transportation)
  • Fostering relations at both local and central government levels
  • Development and implementation of numerous CSR initiatives
  • Managing the corporate governance, legal and reporting requirements of a listed company

Mr Ayling was also an Executive Director for Laguna Vietnam Limited, a fund developing an integrated resort in Central Vietnam that was under construction during his time with the group. Specifically, he was responsible for establishing the property sales operation, as well as the design, development and construction of the Nick Faldo Championship Golf course.

He was also significantly involved in the successful initial public offering (IPO) of Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd on the Singapore Stock Exchange in 2006 and served as a member of the Banyan Tree Hotels Executive Committee.


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