Interview with Mr Lim Boon Kwee, Chief Operating Officer of Dusit International
Based in the company’s Bangkok headquarters, Mr Lim Boon Kwee, Chief Operating Officer of Asia’s leading hospitality group Dusit International, oversees the operations of Dusit’s global portfolio of hotels and resorts across four continents.
Mr Lim joined Dusit International in 2013 as President of Dusit Fudu Hotel Management Company Ltd., Dusit International’s joint venture company in Shanghai. The company currently manages five hotels and resorts in China with a further 20 projects in the pipeline from Shanghai to Sichuan Province. With this appointment, the office of the President of Dusit Fudu is integrated with that of the Chief Operating Officer of Dusit International for better alignment between the two companies. “With nearly 50 hotels in the pipeline to be opened over the next five years, strengthening the foundations for the company’s sustainable growth will be one the key focuses,” he said.
Prior to joining Dusit, Mr Lim was Senior-Vice President of Millennium and Copthorne for Asia. He has an impressive breadth of management experience over 30 years, having worked for Westin, Intercontinental, Sedona Hotels, Shangri-La and Rosewood. SpaChina interviewed this hospitality expert.
What makes Dusit International special? What kind of DNA does it have?
Dusit International prides itself on its distinctive hospitality inspired by authentic Thai values. From lobby to rooms to restaurants to bars, no detail goes unnoticed in our pursuit of hospitality excellence. Dedicated to providing only the best of service, we do everything we can to ensure each and every stay at a Dusit property is always an experience to cherish. Genuine care, warmth and respect are very much part of our DNA.
What are the unique and special elements of the resorts, especially in terms of the spa?
Dusit Devarana Hot Springs and Spa Conghua, Guangzhou is the first international luxury wellness, lifestyle and hot springs resort in Guangdong province. We provide the wellness programs to enhance body, mind and soul. Guests can choose an array of programs like fitness lessons, weight management, facials, massages, hands-on cooking classes, yoga and etc. Devarana Spa offers an atmosphere of ultimate relaxation in its very own healing garden in heaven concept. With an emphasis on pampering and wellness, “East meets West,” Thai health and beauty practices have been sourced from age-old therapies and updated with modern knowledge to pamper and revitalize guests.
How do you view the lifestyle of your guests?
Most of our guests come from the Pearl River Delta. Due to work stress and the fast pace of life, our guests like to pursue wellness and leisure travel on the weekend. They can relax in the outdoor natural hot springs set in tranquil tropical landscapes, and indulge in signature Thai massages or one of the indigenous spa treatments from an extensive spa menu by our renowned Devarana Spa. The Wellness travel concept is going to be very popular in China.
Well-trained staffs are one of the key points for hotel and spa operations. How does Dusit handle staff education and training?
Our Devarana Spa manager is an experienced therapist and manager from Thailand. All our Spa therapists received comprehensive training programs, covering spa treatments, products and gracious Thai hospitality. They are equipped with knowledge on anatomy and pressure points, modern and traditional massage techniques, skin and facial applications, beauty treatments, properties of herbs and spices and Thai gracious hospitality.
How do you see the importance of a spa facility in a five-star hotel or resort?
In a luxury resort, spa plays an important role as an ancillary service to the resort’s facility. A good spa can enhance the resort’s quality and service reputation. Our guests can indulge in a comfortable atmosphere accompanied by our professional and high quality service. A high-quality spa can certainly uplift the resort’s reputation, guest satisfaction and incremental revenue to the resort.
Does China still have potential to grow in terms of the hotel business?
China is the world’s largest market feeder for international tourism, and also one of the biggest travel destinations. Yes, there are many hotels in China and this situation is matched with the huge population of China. The hospitality segment still has a lot of potential to grow compared with other countries. More and more Chinese people would like to travel to relax and escape to enjoy life during weekends and take short holidays, and Dusit will continue to focus on this growing leisure market.