Delivering The Right Experience With IHG In Chengdu

David LimDavid Lim is the area general manager of the Century City Chengdu and Jiuzhai Paradise Hotels.

How do you differentiate Century City Chengdu and Jiuzhai Paradise Hotels, from others in the same marketplace? What is your strategic plan for achieving your target RevPAR?
The type of customers who stay at Century City Chengdu and Jiuzhai Paradise Hotels has evolved over the years. We have notice changes in the nature of our guests and in their attitude towards traveling. That is why it is important for us to make sure we know who they are and how they are changing to ensure we continue to prove the right experience for them.

Century City Chengdu and Jiuzhai Paradise Hotels have an excellent location, what do you expect the percentage composition of your guests to be?
Our current business segmentations are generally corporate and MICE for Century City Chengdu where they account for 44% and 36% respectively. Juizhai Paradise Hotels are slightly different where leisure travelers take up to 70% of the overall segmentation and MICE contributes more then 15%.

Since you took charge in October last year,you and your team has received many national and regional heads of state and politicians, please could you share some of your experiences with this.
As a matter of fact, Century City Chengdu hotel does received many head-of-states and local authority VIPs and this has been the case since its opening in January 2008. Our owning company's executives had a great business relationship with people from the domestic bureau from even before the hotel complex was built. From my personal point of view, we learnt a lot about protocol practice and this has sharpened our management service procedures skills a lot. Having had the privilege of having them staying with us, we are also updating all their preferences to create another memorable experience for them should they return.

What steps have you and your staff taken to resolve any problems caused by the international financial crisis and last year's earthquake?
Last year's earthquake was a shocking and devastating experience for the people in Sichuan. This crisis is a reminder for every one of us to value and treasure our life. Since then, we have strengthened our crisis management plan as we are very focused on "what might happen?" and "what happens then?"

At present, many large hotels are focusing on business development in the MICE sector, what special plans do Century City Chengdu and Jiuzhai Paradise Hotels, have for targeting the MICE market?
We are currently managing the largest hotel complex adjacent to a convention center in China and this has positioned us with an advantage of targeting MICE markets. Consistency and delivering the right experience is my main concern to ensure we stay competitive to this changing market. My aim is to build on quality from the start and then improve continuously by listening to our guests and associates.

What is your management philosophy? What makes a hotel a good hotel in your opinion?
Attention to details and commitment with passion. The attributes that make a great hotel are consistency on delivering guests' experience and constant innovation in this fast changing market. Also important, is to select and place the right people in the right jobs.

How do you combine the InterContinental Hotel Group brand culture and local Chengdu culture in order to allow guests to enjoy international standard services in Chengdu?
At InterContinental, we believe in sharing our experiences and our knowledge with other people. We encourage our employees to share their local knowledge to our guests. We believe travel is a great thing and trying new things is always interesting as experiencing new things makes us a better person.

If a guest stays an extra day in Chengdu what would you recommend that they see and do?
Even if you are in Chengdu for only one day, I would suggest you to do what the locals like to do — drinking tea in a traditional tea-house. This tradition has a long historic culture and has not changed for many years. You can share this unique experience with your family and friends when you return home.

If you had to sum up in one sentence why guests should stay at one of the Century City Chengdu and Jiuzhai Paradise Hotels, what would you say?
Because it is managed by IHG.