Hotels

Longest-running CEO of any major hotel company calls time on career

BWH Hotel Group has announced that longtime president and CEO David Kong will retire at the end of 2021.

The longest-running CEO of any major hotel company, Kong joined Best Western Hotels & Resorts in 2001 and was named CEO in 2004.

During this 20-year journey, Kong would transform the company, form BWH Hotel Group and shape it into a global powerhouse, leaving an indelible mark on the entire hotel industry.

“David Kong is a once-in-a-lifetime leader whose contributions to Best Western and BWH Hotel Group are truly immeasurable, said company chairman Ishwar Naran.

“It has been the honour of my career to work alongside David and witness firsthand his remarkable passion and dedication to our industry.

“David has always led by example and, most importantly, cared deeply about those he serves from hoteliers, to colleagues, associates, guests and communities.”

Kong’s first step toward a lifelong career in hospitality began as a dishwasher and busboy. When he arrived in the United States from Hong Kong as a young adult, like many immigrants before him, he had no money, no job and no connections to offer support.

Despite these challenges, Kong leaned into the values and work ethic instilled by his parents to rise through the ranks of the hospitality industry, culminating in his role as president and CEO of BWH Hotel Group.

During his tenure as CEO, Kong has grown BWH Hotel Group’s brand portfolio from one to 18 covering every chain scale segment and accommodation type, including boutique/lifestyle and extended stay.

Kong has also managed to set successive records of RevPAR growth from 103 in 2004 to 112.4 in 2021, as well as a new company record of highest EBITDA growth, with company cash reserves and net equity growing over 10-fold since becoming CEO.

He also led the acquisition efforts of WorldHotels Collection and AutoClerk.

You can learn more about Kong’s impactful 20-year journey in the below video:

 

 

Commenting on his impending retirement, Kong said: “This industry has empowered me to dream boldly about the future and to pursue those dreams without hesitation.

“I feel blessed to have been surrounded by exceptional teams throughout my career and through sheer passion and dedication, we have chased bold dreams and achieved what many might have considered impossible.

“I feel very fortunate to have played a role in building BWH Hotel Group into the brand it is today. I have always wanted to move on at my peak.

“With our caring culture, our extraordinary hoteliers, executive team and corporate staff, I have no doubt the best is yet to come for BWH Hotel Group.”

BWH Hotel Group will announce a new CEO at the company’s annual convention in October.



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Qantas relaunches Perth-London route, ramps up trans-tasman flights, secures majority stake in TripADeal

Flights resuming to NZ mean that it will be much easier for the all blacks to come over and quickly beat Australia over and over again.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Qatar hotels warned by Fifa over LGBTQ+ discrimination

World Cup controversy has already kicked off before the first match has begun! It’s clear Fifa is taking some lessons from the Australian Open.

Share

CommentComments

News

Japan and Thailand to further ease travel restrictions from 1 June

We thought a nice photo of cherry blossoms in full bloom at Himeji-Jo Castle would be a lot nicer than of some guy getting a swab shoved up his nose for the story.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Star Entertainment Group appoints new interim chairman and CEO

Similarly, we’ve appointed our office dog as the new chief zoomies officer, which is a big improvement on her previous role as VP of weeing in the hallway.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Aurora Expeditions announces maiden voyage for new ship the Sylvia Earle

The expedition cruise line has revealed some smashing destinations for its new ship’s bid debut, so get ready to go penguin spotting!

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre sees boom in international business travel

People are heading back overseas so say goodbye to organising a weirdly timed Zoom meeting and get ready for a nice 13-hour flight!

Share

CommentComments

News

“The new ministry is well informed and ready to support tourism’s future”: Peak industry bodies welcome Australia’s new PM

Travel Weekly’s editor spent her Sunday morning shushing the cheering crowd at Marrickville Library as Albo posed out the front for this photo op. He’s lucky he has a cute dog or she may have had to get the librarians involved.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

TAA appoints new board member

It’s a good thing travel is an interesting industry, otherwise they’d be appointing a new ‘bored’ member. See what we did there?

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

New data suggests China Eastern nosedive may have been intentional

Investigations into a tragic plane crash that killed 132 people earlier this year have revealed that it was likely not due to technical fault.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Luxury Escapes partners with the Travel Corporation

Similarly, Travel Weekly is trying to form a partnership with the cafe downstairs, which they correctly recognised as another attempt to get free coffee and shut down immediately.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas teams up with Zip for buy now pay later flights

Looking for new and exciting ways to financially cripple the millennial and Gen Z market? This one from our national carrier takes the cake.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

AGENT GUIDE: How to give your clients the best possible South America experience

by Sponsored by Chimu Adventures

From the snowcapped Andes and the Amazon rainforest to the culture clad streets of Buenos Aires and Rio, South America is a treasure trove of rich experiences not to be missed.

Share

CommentComments