Okura Group appoints Dutch senior managers to top board positions

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Press release: Okura Group appoints Dutch senior managers to top board positions

Amsterdam, 30 June 2020 – The Japanese international Okura Group has appointed Dutchman Marcel van Aelst as Chairman of Okura Nikko Hotel Management Company, Ltd. (ONHM) and Dutchman Harmen Dubbelaar as Director of Hotel Okura Company, Ltd., marking a significant increase in Dutch representation in the international hotel chain. These changes at the highest level of the Okura Group also reflect the continued strength of the centuries-old trade relationship between Japan and the Netherlands that originated on the island of Dejima in the bay of Nagasaki.

Following his appointment, Marcel van Aelst (72), who has been with the Okura group since 1970 and was involved in the opening of the Dutch Hotel Okura in Amsterdam in 1971, will hold the highest position within the hotel group ever held by a non-Japanese person. In addition to his chairmanship, he will act as a Senior Advisor to Hotel Okura Company, Ltd. Van Aelst is also a member of the Supervisory Board of Hotel Okura Amsterdam.

Harmen Dubbelaar (61) also has a long history at the Japanese company. He left Hotel Okura Amsterdam in 2008, where he was Deputy General Manager, to continue his career within the same hotel chain on an international level. Dubbelaar is currently General Manager of Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai and Regional General Manager in China. His appointment to the Board of Directors of Hotel Okura Company, Ltd. makes him the second Dutch person to reach such a high position in the group.

About Hotel Okura Company, Ltd.

Hotel Okura Company, Ltd., founded in 1958, opened its flagship Hotel Okura Tokyo in 1962 as a first-class hotel that quickly became renowned worldwide for its blending of traditional Japanese beauty with the very best in accommodation, cuisine and service. It closed its doors in August 2015, and after four years of rebuilding work, it reopened as The Okura Tokyo in September 2019. Hotel Okura has extensive expertise in the hospitality world, including asset ownership and hotel development, as well as hotel management, restaurant business and chain operations through its subsidiaries and other group companies. The brand unites member hotels under its “Best Accommodation, Cuisine and Service” philosophy to ensure that all guests enjoy Okura’s signature hospitality, which combines Japanese attention to detail and Western functionality. The subsidiary Okura Nikko Hotel Management Company, Ltd. operates 74 properties (49 in Japan and 25 overseas) encompassing some 23,207 guest rooms (as of January, 2020) under three hotel groups: Okura Hotels & Resorts, Nikko Hotels International and Hotel JAL City.

Curriculum Vitae Marcel van Aelst

1970     Executive Management Trainee, Hotel Okura Tokyo

1971     Deputy Sales Manager, Hotel Okura Amsterdam

1974     Director Sales and Marketing, Frankfurt Inter-Continental 

1976     Director Sales and Marketing, Inter-Continental Hotels Germany  

1979     Resident Manager, Vienna Inter-Continental  

1982     General Manager, D’Angleterre Inter-Continental Copenhagen 

1983     General Manager, The Mark Hopkins Inter-Continental San Francisco

1989     Senior General Manager and Special Assistant to President and CEO, ITT Sheraton Boston World Headquarters 

1989     Area Vice President, Sheraton Canada and Managing Director, Sheraton Centre Toronto

1993     Vice President and General Manager, Hotel Okura Amsterdam 

2001     President and General Manager, Hotel Okura Amsterdam

2002     Member of the Board, Hotel Okura Company, Ltd. Japan

2010     Representative Director and President, JAL Hotels Company, Ltd.

2013     Executive Vice Chairman Board of Directors, Hotel Okura Company, Ltd. Japan

2015     Representative Director and President, Okura Nikko Hotel Management Company, Ltd.

2020     Chairman, Okura Nikko Hotel Management Company, Ltd.*

2020     Senior Advisor, Hotel Okura Company, Ltd.*

In 2015, Marcel van Aelst was made an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. In that same year, by order of His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon. The latter honour was in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the promotion of mutual understanding and the cultural and economic relations between Japan and the Netherlands.

*Current titles and responsibilities

Curriculum Vitae Harmen Dubbelaar

1979     Supervisor Stewarding, Hotel Okura Amsterdam

1980      Assistant Front Office Manager & Night Manager, Hotel Okura Amsterdam

1983      Front Office Manager & Systems Manager, Hotel Okura Amsterdam

1989     Assistant General Manager, Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai, China

1998     Rooms Division Director, Hotel Okura Amsterdam

2004     Deputy General Manager, Hotel Okura Amsterdam

2008     General Manager, Hotel Okura Macau

2012     Corporate Executive Officer, Hotel Okura Company, Ltd.

2016     General Manager, Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai*

Regional General Manager, China*

2017     Vice Chairman, BTG-Nikko International Hotel Management Company, Ltd.*

2018     Senior Managing Corporate Executive Officer, Okura Nikko Hotel Management Company, Ltd.*

2020     Vice Chairman & General Manager, Jin Jiang Okura Garden Hotel Management Company, Ltd.*

2020     Director of the Board, Hotel Okura Company, Ltd.*

In 2019, Herman Dubbelaar received the Silver Magnolia Award from the Foreign Affairs office in Shanghai in recognition of his contribution to the development of the hospitality industry and international cooperation in this metropolis.  

*Current titles and responsibilities