International flair at Kunming Crowne Plaza
Updated: 2011-12-17 08:24
By Li Yingqing and Guo Anfei(China Daily)
International travelers to Southwest China now have a compelling choice for their leisure stay at the renovated Crowne Plaza City Center Kunming in the downtown area of Yunnan province's capital city.
Originally named the Bank Hotel, it first opened for the 1999 World Horticulture Exposition in Kunming and 20 months ago became part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, operator of the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands. Its clientele is mostly from Southeast Asian countries, as well as China and Japan. In August, the hotel started renovations to cater to international travelers.
The hotel's general manager Jim Khoo, with more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and extensive qualifications in hotel management, brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to the beautifully appointed 300-room property set in the heart of Kunming.
Born in Singapore, Khoo started his hospitality career in China in 1995 and joined the InterContinental Hotels Group in 2000. His previous postings in China include Qingdao, Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong and Macau, where he worked with many big international chain hotels including Shangri-La and Marriott.
His goal is to discover, learn and gain extensive experience to fulfill his aspirations. He believes in a humble attitude and celebrates the differences wherever he goes. One of the most rewarding aspects of his work is helping the staff grow in ability and empowering them to rise further in their careers.
Through the years, he has seen many of his team members reach their goals.
"Good is the enemy of great," he says. "How to be a great leader? Great leaders inspire people to have confidence in themselves. I cannot be successful without the right people in the right job."
After office hours, Khoo enjoys running, karaoke and spending time with his family.
He noted the Crowne Plaze will be the first international hotel in downtown Kunming.
"Before Kunming did not have any international hotels. These days, travelers are looking for international hotels - safety is the first factor they will consider and we have advantages in that."
After the renovation is complete, the hotel will have 304 rooms and offer customers cuisine to suit local tastes.