Hospitality Industry

The Peninsula Standard

Episode 1- Series - Market Insights from Asia

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In this webinar Joshua Gan, regional director of Asia Pacific for the EHL Group, is joined by four members of the the Hongkong Shanghai Hotel Limited company. Peter Bora, Chief Operating Officer, Gareth Robert, Group Director, Brand and Operation Support. They are also joined by Mark Kobayashi, senior Vice President, sales and Marketing and finally Lynne Mulholland, Director, Group Corporate Affairs. The Hongkong Shanghai Hotel Limited have 10 hotels in various locations around the world, plus quite a few subsidiaries ranging from office building to apartment buildings to club management to golf clubs, et cetera. At the time of filming there were a further 3 hotels under construction.

What threats to rates has the group experienced?

For a small hotel group it's difficult to identify one common threat to rates wich runs through the entire portfolio. Rather, there are always new threats to keep watch for and to adapt to. For Peninsula Hotels in particular, the first hotel was built in an unattractive area next to a train station and it was laughed at intially. The hotel design centered around a big lobby, a warm and inlcusive place for people from all walks of life to meet and connect, that has become their USP or signature feature across the whole portfolio.

How can small companies attract, develop, and retain the best people?

It has been a big challenge for the Peninsula Hotels. There are many talented young people who want career progression and so the company has to keep them motivated by giving them more scope, by giving them a bit more salary however, it's very hard in Peninsula to make it up to GM because there are only ten hotels. That being said, it's a unique opportunity for graduates to work in a small company because oftentimes, they would get unparalleled access to senior staff members or the C-Suite. Which can be both inspiring and a great learning experience for them.

What is your strategy around sustainability?

The Peninsula are working on the next phase now of Sustainable Luxury Vision 2030. This falls under three key areas of their guests. They look at things like green buildings, water efficiency, energy efficiency. But more important to to them is really looking after their people. Making sure the employees feel safe and cared is their number one priority as well as giving back to the community. The group think it's incredibly important to give back to the local community. In the past year, while sustainability budgets might have been cut around the world, they have actually implemented a new program where for anyone who purchased a meal in any of our hotels, we donated one meal to a charitable organization. So for example, in Hong Kong it was Impact Hong Kong, which gives one free meal to local homeless people for every meal that is purchased in the hotel

Sustainability wise, the Peninsula are more famous for in Asia. They were the first hotel group to ban shark finn, which is a big deal in Asia. At weddings and banquets, people used to always have shark fin. The group decided to ban it and then other hotel companies followed suit. And now the group is still very committed to sustainable seafood, sourcing sustainable chocolate, tea and coffee. The gorup makes sure that all the items that we procure are sustainably sourced.

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