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10 Jan, 2017

William E. Heinecke, Founder, CEO & Chairman, the Minor Group, Thailand

ASEAN Travel & Tourism Hall of Fame – Initiated by Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil to recognise the many veterans who helped grow and shape ASEAN tourism over the last 50 years.

 Date and Place of Birth: June 4, 1949, USA

Marital and Family Status: Married with two children.

Education; Bangkok International School 1963 – 1967, previously based in Japan, Hong Kong and Malaysia.


First employment venture was selling advertising next to his go-karting column in the Bangkok Post which proved so successful that at 17 years old he took over from the paper’s advertising manager while still attending school.

Graduated from school a year later in 1967. Borrowed US$1,200 to register his first two companies under Minor Holdings: Inter-Asian Enterprise which supplied office cleaning services, and the radio advertising company Inter-Asian Publicity.

Today, Minor International (MINT) owns and operates over 1,700 restaurants, over 300 retail trading outlets and over 150 hotels across a total of 35 countries from Australia to Brazil, with over 55,000 team members and a market capitalization of over 4 billion dollars.

First ventured into the hotel sector in 1978 with the Royal Garden Resort in Pattaya, and grew the Minor Hotel Group into one of the largest Asia-based luxury hotel owners and operators, with a portfolio of almost 20,000 rooms across 155 properties in 23 countries under the Anantara, AVANI, PER AQUUM, Oaks, Tivoli, Elewana, Four Seasons, Marriott, St. Regis and Minor International brands. The spa brands Mandara and Anantara are also part of the group.

Realised a lifelong dream by creating Minor Hotel Group’s own Anantara brand, currently with 35 properties in ten countries.

Became a Thai citizen in 1991.

Founded the Heinecke Foundation which supports underprivileged children’s education in Thailand. Also launched the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation.

Authored The Entrepreneur, a how-to management book which has seen several reprints and been translated into numerous languages.

Awards and Recognitions:

2013 – ABLF Trailblazer Award – Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF) Awards 

2015 – Thailand’s Real Estate Person of the Decade – Asia Property Awards

2016 – Lifetime Achievement Award – HICAP

Source: Minor Hotels Public Relations and Communications Office