New Member Spotlight: Edmund Ko

General Manager at Sanya Marriott Yalong Bay Resort & Spa

Edmund Ko marriott.jpg

Hometown: Hong Kong

Member since: May 2015

 

What has been your career path?

The hotel business has been my career since the beginning. I’ve been working in hotels for 30 years, 17 of which have been with Marriott.

What was your first impression of China?

My first job after leaving Hong Kong was at a hotel in Shenzhen. Frankly speaking, in 1988, I felt that Shenzhen, which even had a special economic zone, was quite behind. At that point in time, Shenzhen was like a village. The hotel I worked in was a leading hotel that was a joint venture between a Chinese and Hong Kong-based company. There were no high-rise buildings, the airport was simple and there were no commercial businesses established. This was extremely different from what I was used to in Hong Kong.

What is the most significant accomplishment in your career?

All of the economic changes that China has gone through have provided a lot of room for personal growth. In 1998, when Marriott first came to the country, they needed people with hotel and business experience in China. I started as a small manager and have become a property general manager. This is my biggest achievement so far. I’ve also been able to help the development of the hotel industry in China over the last 20 years through the different positions I’ve held.

How’s business?

In Sanya, a tropical resort destination, this is the slow season. We try to keep business stable right now and prepare for the busy time of year, which is around March. Sanya’s name has grown. Business has changed from Chinese tour groups to individual travelers, more of which are from Russia and outside of Asia.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

As a Marriott guy, I was always following our previous chairman, Mr. Marriott, Jr. He would say, “Success is never final,” so we always find ways to improve ourselves, our property and the way we interact with guests.

What have you gained from your AmCham China membership?

I gained a great business network. AmCham China is also very informative to me on a political level.

What are three things you can’t live without?

Sunshine, high-quality oxygen and a work environment that’s both relaxing and beautiful.