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Bailey 1st American to work in Tahiti tourism industry's public, private sectors | news Economy | Tahitipresse


[--French Version--]

Tue, Jul 27 2010 - Tahiti



Richard H. Bailey, CEO of Tahiti Beachcomber SA, is the first American to have worked both sides of Tahiti's tourism industry - the public and private. Now he is the first businessperson in Tahiti to have won the Grand Prix for Entrepreneur of the Year.With degrees from Stanford and Harvard, two top American universities, Bailey moved from his first job in the banking business to the oil drilling financing business before leaving the U.S. for Tahiti. After five years at the French Polynesia government's tourism promotion office, he entered the private sector, first through a Japanese hotel investor and finally as a hotel owner.

As chairman and CEO of Tahiti

Beachcomber SA (TBSA), Bailey

owns and operates four

InterContinental hotels in French Polynesia. While the newest of those hotels, the InterContinental Resort and Thalasso Spa Bora Bora is the Rolls Royce of the four hotels, there's still at least one more big challenge facing Bailey—The Brando, a 40-unit hotel on Marlon Brando's atoll of Tetiaroa that the late actor dreamed of. It's still a project that Bailey hopes to realize one day.

Normally Bailey is someone who shies away from the media, more out of mistrust than timidness. But he has been making headlines recently as the local media has written about him as a candidate for four of nine Tahiti Entrepreneur Awards organized by the Temaru government's Tahiti Invest.

Each article has been published with an almost uncharacteristic head shot of Bailey, resting chin in hand, looking at the camera with an over-the-water bungalow from one of his hotels and palm trees blurred in the background. The photo would be more appropriate for the back cover of a novel showing the author.

While not a novelist, Bailey has become the darling of the local press as the winner of the first Tahiti Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He also won the Tahiti Entrepreneur Award for the "eco- dynamic company", having also been nominated for the "innovation award" and the "international company award".

Although the awards were announced Friday night, the local media was still talking about Bailey and the other Tahiti Entrepreneur Award winners in Monday morning's two French language daily newspapers.

One newspaper, Les Nouvelles de Tahiti, had even predicted in Friday morning's paper that "Bailey is likely to win the trophy" for Entrepreneur of the Year. The newspaper, the first French newspaper in Tahiti ever to devote an entire page to an article about Bailey, based its prediction on the May 1 opening of the InterContinental Thalasso Spa.

That InterContinental, French Polynesia's first 21st Century hotel, offers guests "the very first Thalasso-spa ever built in the southern hemisphere", according to the hotel. While the rooms opened on May 1, the Thalasso Deep Ocean spa opened on Sept. 1 becoming "the first in the world to administer care using water drawn up from the bottom of the ocean". The inspiration for the use of deep ocean water for the spa and to run the hotel's air-conditioning system came from Brando.

Les Nouvelles headlined its article with Bailey's motto for living and working, "Do the right thing". The newspaper described Bailey as "a very relaxed American with a sharp and frank look, a happy air about him as someone who does what he likes. One knows very little about him, other than he is concerned about the future of planet earth. His entourage credit him with having deep human qualities and a discretion that the stars who stay in his dream hotels appreciate."

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