Destination Group was founded almost 25 years ago by Gary Murray, the firm’s current CEO, as a real estate investment company focused on acquiring distressed hotel assets. The Company’s first acquisition was the Melia Hotel in Hua Hin. Thailand, a 297-room 4-star hotel, acquired for approximately US$22m, renovated for US$5m, and sold in 2014 for US$100m. Growth continued through acquiring hotel assets in Phuket, Hua Hin, Koh Samui, and Bangkok. As a natural adjunct of the hotel business, the Company started to operate branded restaurants under Destination Eats. In 2008, the Company opened Hard Rock Cafe Phuket, its first successful foray into the restaurant business.
In 2014, the Company opened its first Hooters restaurant, which led to a multi-franchise development agreement in 2015 with Hooters for exclusive brand rights in SE Asia. Driven by the rise of food delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company expanded to include virtual kitchen brands in 2020. Further expanding into the hospitality industry, the Company began acquiring hostels in 2019 under the brand Collective Hospitality. Party hostel’s Slumber Party and Bodega comprise most of the 34 hostels in the portfolio, positioning the brand as the world’s 4th largest hostel company. In 2022, the Company plans to open their hotel/hostel concept, Socia\tel Koh Samui, and their glamping hostel, Path Hostels.