Stefan Leser is a bit different to my normal guests on this podcast since he is based in Hong Kong and rather than being a little local independent Langham Hospitality has some big backers and a number of properties spread throughout the globe. It is that global perspective that I was really keen to explore with Stefan. There are some really interesting things we can learn from people like Stefan and Langham Hotels, who are operating across countries and across borders.
I wanted to understand how different markets across the globe are performing and wether that performance is due to governments taking a different approach on how to manage Covid. We recorded this show a few weeks ago, but at the time Stefan’s hotels across China, Australia and New Zealand were trading pretty well, whilst London obviously was closed. Where his hotels were doing ok, they were aimed at the domestic market only.
Many of these countries closed their borders fully very early on in the pandemic. As a result they seem to have kept variants at bay. Whilst being sympathetic to airlines and those in the international market I get the sense from many people that I am speaking with that a summer of domestic trade only would be way better than heading into another lockdown. Certainly with the so called Indian variant now hitting the news, what should we be learning by looking at other countries and seeing how they are managing the situation. Stefan may help broaden our perspectives with his views.
And then there is also how the product of hospitality is evolving and changing globally, as well as the customer and their expectation. What does it look like when your customer changes from international to national in city hotels and what do you need to change?
We explore all of this and much more as we join Stefan very high up in a Hong Kong high rise. Much as I miss recording these conversations face to face, the ability to hop across the globe in just a few seconds is pretty cool.