A brush with warm Asian hospitality 17 years ago convinced Stéphane Junca to relocate to the region from his home in France.
A native of Bordeaux, a port city on the Garonne River in south-western France, the man moved to Jakarta for his first job in 1996. He hasn't looked back since then.
"I have spent my working life in Asia, I could never imagine moving back to Europe," he reveals.
After a two-and-a-half-year stint in the Indonesian city, Junca spent another six years in Bali before moving to the Yunnan province of China where he oversaw the development of several luxury hotels. From there, he moved to Bangkok, Thailand, where he's been based for the past seven years.
"I simply feel at home here. For the last seven years, I have spent more than half of each month travelling around Asia in constant search of little 'gems'. I guess I have been bowled over by the kindness and warm genuine hospitality of people I have met across all these places," says Junca.
While his heart has been captured by Asian charm, he is still very much single!
Although he's in his late 30s, Junca can be considered a "veteran" in the tourism industry. It helps that he speaks fluent French, English, Spanish, Bahasa Indonesia and basic Mandarin.
"I am passionate about travel. I learn about the culture, discover secret places and understand the (local) people by listening to their stories," he explains.
Junca is the co-founder and managing director of the luxurious Secret Retreats brand, a collection of "luxury" properties throughout Asia.
Through his involvement with the brand, Junca continues to explore new properties whilst discovering new experiences which he can offer to discerning travellers.
Star2 finds out more about Junca's thoughts on tourism and the hospitality industry.