Hilton hires industry heavyweight to lead APAC development

Clarence Tan (imagery: © 2021 Hilton) In his new role as senior vice president, development…

Clarence Tan (imagery: © 2021 Hilton)

In his new role as senior vice president, development – Asia Pacific with Hilton Worldwide, Clarence Tan will oversee the company’s growth agenda in the region.

Hilton Worldwide has announced the appointment of Clarence Tan as senior vice president, development – Asia Pacific, with responsibility for deploying the group’s brands across the region and delivering optimum financial returns for owners.

The start of a new chapter

Tan comes to Hilton from international hotel management and development company Valor Hospitality, where he served as principal and corporate advisor.

“Clarence brings a wealth of industry experience and a deep understanding of the many and diverse markets we serve, and he will play a pivotal role in solidifying our lead as the fastest growing hospitality company in the region,” said Alan Watts, president of Hilton in Asia Pacific. “His insights, coupled with his leadership style and strong owner relationships, will be invaluable as we continue to strategically deploy our world-class brands across Asia Pacific.”

“Hilton is renowned across the industry for its strong and consistent growth strategy and world-recognised brands,” added Tan. “Having the opportunity to join Hilton during this time, when recovery is on the horizon and the investment community remains active to capitalise on the potential opening of international borders in a safe manner over the mid- to long-term, is a huge honour and I am truly excited to be able to contribute my experience to furthering the growth and development strategy for Asia Pacific.”

A wealth of hospitality experience

Tan comes to the role with more than 20 years of experience. Prior to serving with Valor Hospitality, he was group CEO at Millennium & Copthorne. Before this, he held several senior leadership positions with IHG, including COO for Japan, Korea and South East Asia, and CFO and chief development officer for Asia, Middle East and Africa.

Hailing from Singapore, Tan earned his Bachelor of Accountancy from Nanyang Technological University and is now married with four children. In this new position, he will be based in Hilton’s APAC headquarters in Singapore where he will report to Watts and Kevin Jacobs, CFO and president for Hilton’s global development.

Landmark partnerships and marquee deals

Tan takes over this position from Matt Fry, who is leaving Hilton and the role in Singapore to return to the US, having spent three years with the group. During his tenure, Fry secured landmark partnership deals including an agreement with Country Garden to launch the Home2 Suites brand in China and the extension of a deal with Plateno Group to expand Hampton by Hilton’s presence in the People’s Republic.

On top of this, Fry led the team in signing marquee deals including the 2022-opening Hilton Singapore, which is to become the largest Hilton hotel in Asia Pacific; along with the region’s first Tapestry Collection by Hilton property, Hotel Resonance Taipei; and the market debut for Hilton’s storied luxury brand, the 2026-opening Waldorf Astoria Tokyo.