Richard Hatter, the General Manager of Hong Kong homegrown brand Hotel ICON won the highly coveted award as the General Manager of the Year at The BMW Hotelier Awards Greater China 2018 recently held in Shanghai.
Hailed as the 'Oscars' of the hotel industry, and as the only accolade in Asia that honours the professionals of the hotel industry, the fifth annual Hotelier Awards celebrate the dedicated hoteliers and their professional excellence across the hospitality sector.
An active member of the hospitality industry, Hatter holds the position of Chairman of the Hong Kong Chapter at the Institute of Hospitality. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University with an Executive Masters in Global Hospitality Leadership where he also lectures and consults, and presents on ICON's innovation strategies at numerous leading trade events and conferences.
Hatter together with his pioneering team started building the ICON brand from ground upwards from 2009. In 2011, they launched the world's first fully integrated teaching hotel facility to the Hong Kong market, and have brought it to critical acclaim, winning many awards along the way.
According to Hatter, "With a special purpose to cultivate the next generation of Asian hospitality experts, and with all the hotel's profits going back to education and training for the students, Hotel ICON is truly unique. I am both thrilled and humbled that the industry recognises the success of Hotel ICON, which has become a Hong Kong tourism success story. As part of my journey in building the ICON brand and story, I am forever grateful to my pioneer team including Ian Lee and Susana Fok (who are to date still part of the ICON executive committee team), and the hotel's owners, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) who believed in our vision and entrusted us with the confidence in developing the brand. Key inspirational figures also include our Board Chairman, Victor Lo, the President of the University, Professor Timothy Tong and the Dean of School of Hotel and Tourism Management, Professor Kaye Chon."
When interviewed by the jury of experts through a two-round judging process, Hatter shared that the judges were very interested and impressed by Hotel ICON's We Love to Care' training programme.
Hatter added that he was very enthusiastic about the affiliation with the Hotelier Awards because of the opportunity to network for the leadership development of his graduates and the management team. Apart from recognising the most talented hoteliers, he said that the Awards also act as an inspiration for the younger generation to pursue a career in hospitality.
With more than 300 hoteliers and industry professionals in attendance, a total number of 20 awards were announced during a gala dinner two nights ago. One winner from each category was decided by the high-calibre jury of experts, who looked at a combination of facts presented in the applications, interviews, and testimonials. This specialist jury of renowned representatives from the sector included, Jenny Soo, Head of Workplace Experience APAC, Jones Lang LaSalle Property Consultants Pte, Julia Monk, Senior Vice President & Director of Hospitality Design, Hok, Leon Liang, Former Vice President, Alibaba-Fliggy, Dr Sacha Stöcklin, Managing Director, Ciecas and Dai Bin, President of China Tourism Academy, Director of National Tourism Data Centre.