Hotelier Swap: Let's Name Names.
By Yeoh Siew Hoon - SHY Ventures
Wednesday, 4th May 2005
Yeoh Siew Hoon takes the challenge and names names. Do you dare?,

My last column on Hotelier Swap, an idea conceived in the bathroom no less, obviously tickled a few of you out there.

One hotelier even dared me to name names.

In the interests of democracy, I will name the names he named first.

Mr X (in the interests of protecting the innocent) put forward these exchanges.

Kurt Waechveitl goes from Oriental Bangkok to Anthony Wong's eco-tourism camp in Pahang. (Anthony Wong, for those hoteliers who do not know him, runs Asian Overland Services in Malaysia, a tour operator known for its eco-tourism products.)

Peter Caprez to run Brett & Khin Metzger's "Balloons over Bagan". (I didn't have a chance to try the balloons on my last trip to Bagan because of windy conditions but I hear they are a thrill a minute.)

Ben Bousnina from Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa to Peninsula Hong Kong.

Philippe Carretti from Shangri-La Pudong, Shanghai, to Latitude 131, Ayers Rock Resort.

I confess. I like his choices.

Some of you emailed and SMS-ed me, saying you liked the idea but shame on you, you named no names.

Well, here are some of my choices.

Patrick Fiat from Royal Plaza on Scotts, Singapore to Tiger Tops, Nepal.

Jennie Chua, chairman of Raffles International, to Borneo Rainforest Lodge, Sarawak. (We've got to have a woman in there somewhere to spice things up.)

Albert Teo, Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Sabah to Ritz-Carlton New York. (We've got to have an Asian in there as well.)

Albert, who by the way is a passionate conservationist, would do a good job of retraining the retired circus elephants I wrote about as well, another column which elicited responses from you.

One reader who called himself a retired circus elephant said that several of my conclusions were entirely subjective, and some others almost irrational. I have been accused of that sometimes, so I take it on the chin like a grown woman.

One key point of disagreement – he feels an experienced hotel manager differs from elephants by his capacity to use logic and reason. "Maybe age may make some managers reluctant to change, but they could if they really wanted to. After all, they reached their erstwhile positions mostly by those required capacities."

I couldn't agree more. Age is certainly no barrier to the desire to change. One of my favourite authors, Mary Wesley, wrote her first novel at age 80 and proceeded to write about 10 novels before she died.

It's all in the mind – or hairstyle apparently. In New York recently, I was watching a documentary on the making of The Apprentice, the Donald Trump vehicle to trump his talents.

You see, the way he has his hair done is a big secret. A cover literally goes over his dressing room and he disappears in there with his hairdresser, only to appear with that puffed up, combed up, Uniquely Trump look.

On the same subject of retired circus elephants, another reader, a university lecturer, wrote in to say he was planning to use my story as a discussion point for his last day of class, titled "Putting It All Together".

I am glad the retired circus elephants will be put to good use.

Actually I can think of a few politicians out there who should be swapped with retired circus elephants – but since this is a hospitality column, I will not go there – or my name will be history.

The SHY Report
A regular column on news, trends and issues in the hospitality industry by one of
Asia's most respected travel editors and commentators, Yeoh Siew Hoon.

Siew Hoon, who has covered the tourism industry in Asia/Pacific for the past 20 years, runs SHY Ventures Pte Ltd. Her company's mission is "Content, Communication, Connection".

She is a writer, speaker, facilitator, trainer and events producer. She is also an author, having published "Around Asia In 1 Hr: Tales of Condoms, Chillies & Curries". Her motto is ‘free to do, and be'.

Contacts: Tel: 65-63424934, Mobile: 65-96801460
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