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Hotel Corner

Rebecca Kwan, the new Chairman of the Hong Kong Hotels Association

Rebecca Kwan, the new Chairman of the Hong Kong Hotels Association, talks about the appointment and her outlook for the hotel industry.

I started my career working at an inbound travel agency where I dealt with hotels. That eventually led me to working for a hotel, the old Furama in Central. Since then I’ve held various positions in Sales & Marketing for both international deluxe hotel chains and boutique hotels, including The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong and Kempinski Hotel Group before joining the Dorsett Group, managing and overseeing its various hotels in Hong Kong and London.

I have been a member of HKHA’s Executive Committee since 2009. I was appointed Second Vice Chairman in 2017 and elected Chairman in 2018. It’s a new challenge for me, but one I am looking forward to. I am proud to be the first lady Chairman of HKHA in its 58 years of history. We now have 16 female hotel GMs in the association but only myself on the ExCom. So, I would very much encourage more female GMs to serve on the ExCom to help advance the interests of the industry.

As Chairman, I intend to fulfil HKHA’s mission, enhancing participation of Executive Committee members in major decision-making to draw on the breadth of HKHA expertise and increase transparency. I hope to expand membership benefits, including promoting technology applications and providing better industry information.

HKHA’s priorities very much mirror those facing Hong Kong’s hospitality and tourism industry. A key issue is a shortage of manpower, which will only sharpen as more hotels open. If left unaddressed, this could affect delivery of our service standards. Therefore, we are expediting the development of SMART hotel solutions, led and driven by a new dedicated HKHA sub-committee with members including business partners, member hotels, academic institutions and local service providers based in Hong Kong Science and Technology Park.

I am cautiously optimistic about Hong Kong’s tourism sector. We just opened the High - Speed Rail and the Hong Kong Zhuhai Macau Bridge, which will bring in more visitors. It’s important we make sure there are enough hotels and with the right levels of service to meet the increased demand. Asia’s tourism sector continues to be competitive as countries vie for tourism spending, and Hong Kong needs to ensure it has adequate infrastructure and capacity to accommodate different market segments.

Internet, social media, digital technologies and the emerging “internet of things” will continue to impact how hotels operate. This global trend is why we are so keen to implement our SMART Hotel initiative – to help our member hotels keep up with the rapid changes.

I love Hong Kong, 100%! What inspires me most is this fascinating contrast between East and West: the great diversity of people, lifestyle and food culture.

My recommendations for visitors:

1. Enjoy our magnificent harbour – walk along the Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront and admire the stunning skyline of Hong Kong Island opposite.

2. For a panoramic view from on high, head to the Peak or Sky100.

3. Check out our beautiful outlying islands, such as South Lantau and the beautiful beaches of Cheung Sha.

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