by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Mice Asia Net : January 2009
Q&A New breed of GMs pave the way in Asia Q: How long have you been a GM, and how long at your current property? A: My career path to general manager really gained momentum in September 2003 when I joined There’s a new breed of hotel general manager in Asia. Young, savvy and sophisticated. miceASIA.net caught up with one, Mark Winterton, to get the lowdown on the current landscape. the pre-opening team at Crowne Plaza London - The City as executive assistant manager. Following a very successful couple of years in that position, I was asked to take over as interim general manager of the 331-room Holiday Inn London - Regents Park in 2006, a temporary position in the lead-up to my departure for Singapore in April 2007 to lead the pre-opening team at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport. Crowne Plaza Changi Airport opened at the end of May this year and after just six months of operation I’m delighted at the response we’ve seen so far. Q: What is your vision for the hospitality/ business tourism sector for the future from an economic standpoint? A: In today’s volatile economic environment we need to focus on not only revenue, but also on how we can create additional value in our product and service, and demonstrate clearly that we are going the extra mile for our guests. These days, each new hotel seems to raise the bar in terms of facilities. What will set us apart are our service levels, a bespoke approach to service that really differentiates hotels from one another. Q: How can GMs make a difference to the environment? A: In the past most hoteliers were not as environmentally aware as they are today and while the issue was addressed with small gestures, such as asking guests to re-use their bath towels, they were really only scraping the surface, along with most other industries. The situation is very different today. Addressing environmental impact is on top of the agenda right from the time a hotel is 40 miceAsia.net designed. Part of Crowne Plaza Changi Airport’s uniqueness is the hotel design which makes use of a lot of natural light, for example, in its open-air corridors and reflective water skylights at the lobby area. Our bathrooms are also unique in that the shape of the building allows light to filter in through the bathroom windows which not only gives the hotel the ambience of a resort but also minimises the need to use excessive energy. The orchid- motif screen which covers the exterior of the hotel provides shading to sixty percent of the entire facade, cooling the building and saving energy. Corridors are deliberately not air-conditioned, again saving energy and also allowing for full appreciation of our green, tropical surroundings. Recycled materials are used in several areas including the swimming pool where reconstituted wood is used for the entire pool deck. The heat from the water chillers is recycled for use in other parts of the hotel. Q: What is your take on ‘responsible tourism’ and corporate social responsibility? A: First, we must take care of – preserve - the environment in which we operate. Secondly, we must ensure that we make a meaningful contribution to the local community. Singapore is sophisticated with a highly trained workforce and very low unemployment; there are other challenges such as retraining older workers who have been displaced as the country moves towards a more knowledge- based society. At Crowne Plaza Changi Airport we started working with the Singapore Workforce Development Authority (WDA) long before the hotel opened on initiatives and programs to drive increased competitiveness in the local workforce. One of the very successful programs that we implemented was the ‘Ezi-Maid’, an automated lifting system designed to increase efficiency and reduce injuries related to bed making and cleaning. The steel framed system, which is not visible to the hotel guest, enables beds to be raised to waist-height by the room attendant