Be passionate. Be professional. Success will follow. Swiss-Belhotel International chairman shares his recipe for business growth.
One of the world’s fastest-growing hotel and hospitality management groups, Swiss-Belhotel International, has a strong Kiwi connection. Chairman and founder, Gavin Faull is a Taranaki [New Zealand] dairy farmer who joined Swiss-Belhotel more than three decades ago and now owns the group.
When he took the job, Gavin worked for three months for nothing. “What I saw was the opportunity, not the money.” The rest is history.
Under his watch, the company has grown to 145 hotels, resorts and projects across 21 countries. And, the pace of growth shows no signs of slowing down.
So, how did he do it?
“Passion and professionalism. These hinge into everything and all we do,” says Gavin. “It’s our commitment to serve coffee with a smile (passion) and also serve it hot and according to standards (professionalism).”
“We were driven by a passion to create a hospitality group of 70 hotels as a private company,” says Gavin. “We work closely with property owners and investors, developing relationships that are mutually beneficial and carving out a success story together.”
Swiss-Belhotel International’s commitment to nurturing its partnerships is reflected in the group’s ability to infuse unique local flavours into every property. Following a unique, inclusive approach, the group is committed to involving property owners in the growth and success of the hotel or resort.
This partnered approach to management has also helped the group deliver a model where international quality standards are combined with local hospitality for a more authentic guest experience. While the group’s vision provides a guide, the individuality of every property is respected and maintained in daily operations.
Along with passion and professionalism is a high level of respect.
Gavin prides himself on developing a company culture that thrives in respect for staff and team members. “They’re our engine for growth,” he says.
Respect is important not just for the people within your organisation, but also the environment, and the local community and culture. “It’s the eco-system within which an individual property prospers in a mutually beneficial relationship.”
Moving away from a traditional management structure, what’s also worked for Swiss-Belhotel International is how it empowers its employees to drive growth. “We’re innovators, and everyone in the Swiss-Belhotel International family is encouraged to innovate and be the best they can.”
The innovation is driven by a commitment to being progressive and economically creative. Swiss-Belhotel International are early adopters of technology that has become a modern hospitality standard. From their booking systems to in-room facilities, the group strives to stay ahead of the curve to attract and retain its guests.
At the core of their success story, he adds is the unique fusion of Swiss hospitality and professionalism with Asian passion and service. “It’s the unbeatable combo.”
Headquartered in Hong Kong, Swiss-Belhotel International provides professional expertise and management services for hotels, resorts and serviced residences worldwide.