Business Traveler (USA) - - UPFRONT -

The ho­tel in­dus­try is boom­ing right now. What’s the most ex­cit­ing part about be­ing gen­eral man­ager of a premiere lux­ury prop­erty like the Sof­i­tel NewYork?

When I was a lit­tle kid I would watch on TV th­ese great things that NewYork has to of­fer. So be­ing an im­mi­grant my­self way back 35 years ago, the first thing I did when I came to NewYork, I wanted to go out and see th­ese places like the Em­pire State Build­ing. There is still that burn­ing de­sire from peo­ple who are com­ing to this coun­try, to go – first to NewYork and then to LA, and then per­haps to Mi­ami and Chicago.

How has your own in­ter­na­tional back­ground shaped the way you see trav­el­ers to this coun­try?

I re­mem­ber be­ing a front­desk agent back in the late 80s in Toronto, where we used to wel­come a lot of Ja­panese guests. And look­ing back, it was very dis­ap­point­ing. They would come in and the in­ter­ac­tion was very limited. And then I hap­pened to work in Asia, and that opened up a whole dif­fer­ent world to un­der­stand peo­ple’s be­hav­ior and how can we con­nect.

De­spite its com­pet­i­tive ho­tel mar­ket, NewYork is see­ing a lot of in­vest­ment in hos­pi­tal­ity.

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