SINGAPORE -- Ho Kwon Ping, executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings, an operator of upscale hotels and resorts based out of Singapore, is banking on China.
He expects the Chinese government will move to bolster personal spending. Banyan Tree is putting its money where Ho's mouth is and accelerating efforts to expand its network hotels across mainland China. This is in stark contrast to Japanese businesses, which are moving away from China.
Ho formerly made his mark in journalism and was once imprisoned by the Singaporean government over articles he wrote. In a city-state where government-affiliated companies wield significant influence, his entrepreneurial style is outside the norm.
A Japan enthusiast, Ho displays kimono in his office.
Though he previously thought of acquiring traditional ryokan inns in Japan, he put the plan on hold due to the country's attitude toward business. Even so, he said that it might be possible to operate serviced apartments in Japan.
The Japanese tourism industry is eagerly watching for Ho's next move.