Kitmun Fung started at Hilton in China during the early days when Hilton had only four hotels in the Greater China region. As director of development, she participated in the execution of Hilton’s expansion strategy for their Greater China portfolio. Prior to Hilton, she was involved in asset acquisition and management agreement deals for Europe at Raffles International. More recently, she took the helm at Dream Hotel Group as its vice president of development in the Asia Pacific.
We asked her about the growing market in APAC, maintaining an edge over the competition, and their expansion plans for Asia:
TD: What’s the purpose behind your new role?
KF: I am thrilled to be part of a new team to expand Dream’s footprint here in the Asia Pacific.
We know there is a growing demand for an energised lifestyle brand that speaks to the digitally plugged traveller, but at the same time is authentic enough to be very much a part of the fabric of the local community.
The relationship is symbiotic as travellers seek out authentic local experiences.
What do you think will be the challenges?
The challenge is obviously brand awareness. However, once the market realises that, although the brand is new and the brand experience cutting edge, the company is actually driven by a 30-year history of operating successful lifestyle brands and hotels — and then we think the results will speak for themselves.
Owners, on the other hand, will appreciate our flexible approach and our ability to use programming to drive the brand’s DNA, rather than insisting on excessive investments that don’t drive the bottom line.
We pride ourselves on being owners ourselves, and in that way, we are able to view issues from the owner’s perspective.
Could you elaborate on the company’s ‘forward-thinking’ philosophy?
As the marketplace becomes dense with so-called lifestyle entries, Dream Hotel Group has the ability to adapt quickly to changing tastes and preferences in order to maintain its edge over the competition.
We are fully aware that the arc of interest is shorter and harder to capture than ever, and we come to the table prepared to continually adjust and optimise our programming to retain the imagination of consumers.
You’re currently introducing the brand to new countries. How do you want it to be known?
What Dream Hotel Group offers is a true lifestyle product, as seen in any of the group’s four brands – Dream Hotels, Time Hotels, Unscripted and The Chatwal – which showcase forward-thinking design, service and unique guest experiences.
“Being able to offer both the intimacy and designer touches of boutique hotels”
We want to continue to be known for being able to offer both the intimacy and designer touches of boutique hotels, as well as the consistent experience and economies of scale that only a group with 30 years of experience is able to provide.
The brand is currently in a pivotal stage of development. Could you share with us the group’s plans/targets for 2022?
Indeed, Dream Hotel Group is looking to expand exponentially in the years to come, with a focus on Asia. With another 20 locations in the pipeline in markets such as The Philippines and Vietnam, the group is on track to attaining its target of tripling its existing portfolio by 2022. I look forward to being part of the team as we work towards another exciting milestone.
To get more info about the group’s global expansion plans, click here for an interview with Abid Butt, CEO of Dream Hotel Group, AMEA.