Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Chua

Christopher Chua

Managing Director, BLINK Design Group

BLINK's managing director Christopher Chua finds deep satisfaction in seeing a design job through from concept to completion, and he relishes being a designer who can turn his hand to architecture in all its shapes and forms. "For me the thrill is being faced with a fresh challenge and the chance to apply my knowledge in different ways. From tented naturalist villas to cool urban chic hotels, from minimalist to opulent, every project is a signature within itself.” Mr. Chua's intelligent understanding of space and his instinctive feel for design make him the most valued of creative talents: a highly skilled, unfettered yet disciplined mind. He is at one with his craft, living and breathing hotels and resorts to produce work that resonates and inspires. During nine years as an associate with Singapore's eco.id, Mr. Chua worked on resorts at the farther reaches of luxury, including The Shangri-La Saadiyat Beach, Abu Dhabi; Nikki Beach Resort, Qatar; The Saladaeng Residences, Bangkok; and TAJ Vivanta resorts in Assam and Chennai. He has developed a deep understanding of the symbiosis between branding and design. Since joining BLINK, he has unleashed the full force of his creativity in India and China, and has been instrumental in the company's Shanghai office launch and subsequent rapid growth in China. Mr. Chua's ability to develop relationships with clients also applies to his team, which totals almost 200 people in four studios from Bangkok to Singapore, New Delhi and Shanghai. He achieves results because he motivates those around him, inspiring them with his vision, leading by example and developing a strong bond with existing clients while being instrumental in winning new ones.

Mr. Chua can be contacted at 659-273-4098 or christopher.c@blinkdg.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.