Asia is happening

Asia is happening

After having worked for a global luxury hotel company and a national tourist board, I broke down my tent in beautiful Vancouver to dive into the excitement of China just prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics — first in hotel development, then co-founding a digital marketing firm with a fellow Cornell Hotel School Masters alumnus. It has been an amazing learning experience, and I feel fortunate being in China during a time when the country is going through such rapid change. It is not always without challenge to live in China, especially without a nice expat package and trying to start a company, but I have to say it has expanded my horizon tremendously. 

Besides “tier one” cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, I was also able to visit cities such as Guilin, Dalian, Kunming, Chengdu, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Nanning, Tianjin, Nanxun and Hainan, as well as take a train ride from Hong Kong to Beijing. 

Hotel developments all over the region are on the rise, with some of the major chains having their growth focused in Asia, especially China. Some chains are even launching brands targeting Chinese consumers, while China-based Jin Jiang Hotels is looking to expand outside of China. 

At the same time, a country like Myanmar is getting ready for an increase in tourism, and already there is a lack in hotel rooms. 

Finally, technology and the Internet is transforming the way people in Asia communicate. China has — with more than half a billion Internet users — more “netizens” than any other country. But it is also a very complex Internet and social media landscape with local nuances, especially in countries like China, South Korea and Japan. 

All in all, Asia is happening, and it is an exciting time to be here, especially when it comes to travel, tourism and hospitality development. 

I am looking to share my Asian Tales in this blog, and welcome any thoughts and exchanges.