BOLD Vision: Dae Sik Han leading Clark to global heights with Hann Resorts

There is a certain energy that Mr. Dae Sik Han brings when he enters the room. A brisk and open energy that tells you something is about to happen; something is about to get done.

“I’m a very particular person. When I was young, we were very poor, and my father was a self-made man. I have witnessed how he made himself a self-made man (and I follow that example). When a decision has to be made, I stand and I say we do this. We move. That’s the reason why we (Hann Philippines) were able to move very fast,” Mr. Han expressed.

Moving amazingly and efficiently fast is evident in what Mr. Han did has done with their integrated resorts development in Clark. “I came to Clark as a tourist in 2005, twice. At that time, I was looking for a business opportunity aside from my family business. I knew about the potential of Clark Airport, so I thought that it would be very rational to think that Clark Airport was going to be the next gateway.” In 2006, this South Korean entrepreneur embarked on a journey to capitalize on the burgeoning economic potential of Central Luzon, particularly the Clark Freeport Zone—a former US military base. His vision materialized as he founded Hann Philippines Inc., with a focus on luxury integrated resort developments. Little did anyone anticipate the incredible success story that would unfold over the next 17 years.

Hann Reserve in New Clark City | Artist’s perspective

Widus Hotel and Casino, his first venture, opened its doors to the public, marking the initial success of Mr. Han’s foray into the hospitality industry. The establishment garnered acclaim for providing an upscale and world-class experience, not only for locals but also for international visitors.

The turning point came in 2021 when the Hann Resorts brand was introduced, transforming Widus into the Hann Casino Resort —a fully integrated resort development north of Metro Manila. Covering 11 hectares in the heart of Clark, it included the region’s first five-star hotel, Clark Marriott, and the inaugural Swissôtel in the Philippines.

Hann Philippines Chairman and CEO Dae Sik Han

Mr. Han stressed, “You really have to think ahead. When you have a feeling for something, you have to move. Because when others start feeling the same, they will all jump into the market, and then the competition will be tough.

 There is always a risk. But what is the biggest risk? Not taking any.”

 Mr. Han’s philosophy of being a trailblazer led to the birth of Hann Reserve—a groundbreaking 450-hectare master-planned mixed-use development in New Clark City, Tarlac. As the first of its kind in the country, Hann Reserve boasts a golf resort concept with three designer 18-hole golf courses and the first exclusive PGA of America–accredited driving range and facilities. The development also features luxury hospitality establishments, exclusive residential dwellings, and retail components.

A true leader, Mr. Han embodies the company’s ethos of “PLAY BOLD AND LIVE BOLD.” He encourages innovation, setting an example for his team, and fostering a culture of forward-thinking. His commitment to being the first to bring groundbreaking products to the market has not only shaped the company’s trajectory but has also elevated the standards of the Philippine hospitality industry.

His leadership philosophy stresses that leaders must stand at the forefront. “I should be the one moving. A leader has to be a good example. Or else, how can I expect them to follow me?”

This leadership by example is evident in how Mr. Han’s leadership team also operates. Ms. Patti Javier, Hann Philippines’ AVP for Corporate Marketing expounds, “It’s really Mr. Han’s personality and type of leadership – being very bold and courageous that is contagious to all of us in the executive committee. He is very clear with his vision. He knows what he wants.  We also know we have his support, and that he trusts us, and that we can make it happen. With that, anybody working with him will feel empowered and have the right disposition to move forward.”  

Beyond business success, Mr. Han wears the hat of chairman and CEO of Hann Foundation Inc., the corporate social responsibility arm of the Hann Group. The company, which currently employs around 4000-4500 individuals, is projecting a significant increase to 20,000-30,000 with the upcoming Hann Reserve. In line with this, they plan to collaborate with universities to endorse relevant courses like engineering and hospitality to provide training and ultimately provide employment opportunities, showcasing their commitment to full-circle impact on society.

In the eyes of Mr. Han, other Filipino investments and projects coming into Clark are not competition; instead, he views integrated resorts globally as the benchmark. This perspective elevates the stakes and places the Philippines, Clark in particular, on a global stage, aligning with his relentless pursuit of excellence, and desire to make Clark a renowned tourist destination. Dae Sik Han’s story is not just a narrative of business success; it is a testament to resilience, vision, and the transformative power of bold leadership in shaping the future of Philippine hospitality, and ultimately, tourism.