Oversupply is a growing problem in Asia’s hospitality market, but the boss of ultra-luxury Rosewood Hotel Group has a glass half full mentality and regards it as “healthy competition.”
“I am not worried,” Sonia Cheng, CEO of the Hong Kong-based company told CNBC’s “Managing Asia.” “Sometimes, competition is healthy for the market [because it] pushes you to innovate and develop creative concepts.”
Rosewood Hotel Group, formerly known as New World Hospitality, is the hotel management arm of Hong Kong’s property giant New World Development. It was founded by Sonia’s grandfather Cheng Yu-Tung who is also the man behind jewelry chain Chow Tai Fook. It owns deluxe New World Hotels as well as neighborhood lifestyle Pentahotels, and was renamed in 2013 following the acquisition of Texas-based Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. Now, the group has 50 hotels across 18 countries.
Going forward, the younger Cheng is set on expanding the footprint of the Rosewood brand, with booming Asia as her priority.
Next year, the ultra-luxury hotel brand plans to open in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh and in Phuket, followed by Bangkok, Bali and China’s Guangzhou and Sanya in 2017. Meanwhile, Rosewood Jakarta will be operational by 2018.
“We currently manage 20 hotels under the Rosewood brand across 11 countries. Our goal is to double it in the next 5 years, with maybe a third of it in Asia,” the 33-year-old said. “Asia will be our big focus.”
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