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Villa Maly / Kamu Lodge hire operations manager to support increased traffic (Laos)

Villa Maly / Kamu Lodge hire operations manager to support increased traffic (Laos)

Category: Asia Pacific - Laos - Careers - Appointments
This is a press release selected by our editorial committee and published online for free on 2009-05-15

Three properties in Laos come together in a Magic #5 promotion that beats package rate by 15%

The Apple Tree Group’s widening interests in Laos, one of the hottest travel destinations for 2009, has prompted the appointment of Francois Foulon as operations manager for the Villa Maly and Kamu Lodge.

A French national, Foulon is transitioning to Laos after a seven-year stint in Vietnam that concluded with work as a corporate sales manager for a luxury resort chain. In Laos, Foulon will oversee operations at the historic Villa Maly, a refurbished former residence of a Laotian prince and princess, and Kamu Lodge, an eco-lodge perched on the Mekong River three hours by boat from the former royal capital.

“As we move toward high-season, we’re looking at baseline occupancy levels of 50% already and 80% for some months,” said Shanna Bright, director of sales and marketing for the Apple Tree Group properties. “Despite the global credit crisis, Laos continues to post great gains in the tourism sector.”

“Laos was a buzzword at ITB this year,” she went on. “As a UNESCO-protected city, it’s a favorite destination.”

This summer, Villa Maly, Kamu Lodge and the Nava Mekong, a cruising vessel that offers dinner and dance on the Mekong, are jointly offering a four-night stay proposition dubbed Magic #5. The promotion includes two nights at Villa Maly, two nights at the Kamu Lodge and a dinner cruise on the Mekong at a 15% discount off regular package pricing.

One of Foulon’s first projects in Luanag Prabang was the conversion of a casual outdoor café into a more comfortable dining venue, complete with canvas awning and ceiling fans. Foulon also managed the integration of the new point-of-sale (POS) system.

“We’ve already built a tremendous base in Vietnam,” said Bright. “With Francois’ appointment, we’re on track to foster the same high standards across all of the Lao properties.”

As the corporate sales manager for Victoria Hotels and Resorts, Foulon redeveloped the department and managed sales teams in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. From 2005 to 2007, he was train manager on the Victoria Express, a 4-star overnight train shuttling between Hanoi and Sapa.

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