Rosewood Hotel Group, a Dallas-based company, is best known for their luxury hotels in North America, but with the help of Sonia Cheng the hotel company is growing its international presence. Rosewood Hotel Group opened their first of eight planned Asia hotels in Beijing last week. Cheng has been with the hotel group for three years and is the CEO. As a 33-year-old, Cheng is a rarity amongst her generation as she actually runs an international hotel company.
Although she is a tech-savvy millennial, Cheng’s hotels do not focus on new technology at the cost of personal touch. Some hospitality companies are not eager to join the digital revolution. These companies, like the industry, are trying to find a balance between technology and high-end service. Many of her competitors have been investing in new technologies such as smartphone room keys and check in. Cheng believes it is important to focus on technology but not become obsessed with it.
Technology is not the only trend Cheng disagrees with. She also rejects the thought that travelers are afraid to travel outside of city centers for luxury hospitality, opposing many thoughts of CEOs of most big chains. She believes hotels should focus on local fare when it comes to food service rather than favoring French or Italian restaurants. Many of these trends are caused by the influence of millennials and what hotels think the generation wants. Hotels are focusing on the group born between 1980 and 2000 because this will be the generation that will account for half the spending on business travel by 2020. As a millennial, Cheng is able to voice the generation interests.