Changsha has room for expanding hotel industry, says InterContinental Changsha GM
Achim Brueckner, General Manager of InterContinental Changsha.
Achim Brueckner, born in Germany, has worked in Changsha, Hunan province’s capital, for more than four years serving as the General Manager of the InterContinental Changsha. He believes the city has space for expansion in its hospitality industry.
Brueckner was born in a hospitality family and affected by his father who was a hotelier himself. “As I grew up in the hospitality business, it gave to me good opportunity to learn earlier and faster than others,” Brueckner says.
Since1982, Brueckner has worked in European countries, the Middle East, Asia and the Seychelles. In the past 10 years, Brueckner has worked in several cities in China such as Chengdu, Suzhou and Xiamen. With over 35 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, he has held numerous top positions in prominent international hotel groups such as Kempinski , Starwood and InterContinental Hotel Groups.
InterContinental Changsha opened in October, 2014. An iconic landmark in the ever-developing city, the hotel is an exquisite sanctuary at a coveted address in Kaifu district, beside the Xiangjiang River in the heart of the North Star Delta.
Under Brueckner’s leadership and with the concerted efforts of a great team, InterContinental Changsha, with its signature luxury facilities and outstanding service, has won around 60 industry awards such as TTG China Travel Awards, Golden Pillow Awards, World Luxury Hotel Awards, Conde Nast Traveler 2016 Reader's Choice, and 2017 Hurun Hot Hotel Awards.
When asked about the secret of InterContinental Changsha taking the lead and becoming prosperous, Brueckner attributes the success to four major factors – a fantastic & professional team, an excellent & attractive hotel location, a unique & creative hotel design and great support from the owner company.
“It’s important that we are in harmony. And the team knows that we speak the ‘same language’. This is what a team appreciates and what brings harmony and success,” Brueckner says.
He also emphasizes that a good relationship and mutual understanding with the owner company makes building a team much easier.
Changsha is enjoying a fast-developing tourism market, attracting more and more international hotels to the city.
“The prospects for the hotel business are definitely good in Changsha. I believe more international friends will come and the competition will become tougher,” according to the seasoned hotelier.
There are about 1,400 hotels in Changsha which can be sourced out on Tripadvisor but fewer international hotels relative to other cities. Among the 1,400 hotels, InterContinental Changsha keeps ranking No. 1 by its good reputation and extraordinary service.
“I believe there’s space for newcomers because newcomers bring new business. This is important for Changsha and for more general guests to Changsha because they will have the benefit of more choice,” he adds.
And InterContinental Changsha will keep on going, continue to surprise its guests and show its hospitality, according to Brueckner.
Recalling his first visit to Changsha in 2013, Brueckner says he was impressed by the speed of growth in the city, and the enthusiasm of Changsha people.
“If time allows, I enjoy playing golf in Changsha and travelling with my wife, as we like to discover new places. I enjoy cooking as well,” Brueckner says.