China - Gary Shuai
Chongqing, March 19, 2021
Interview with a leading hotel manager
" Chargé de Missions with responsibility for membership development "

Gary Shuai is General Manager of the Westin Chongqing Liberation Square. Surrounded by popular shops, prestigious businesses and tourist attractions, the Westin, which opened in April 2014, is a haven of wellness and renewal with a reputation for culinary excellence making it a legendary destination.

Formerly Bailli of Chongqing, in October 2020 Gary was promoted to the National Board as a Chargé de Missions with responsibility for membership development.

Following a background in Food and Beverage, in 2017 Gary moved into general hotel management. To gain the benefit of his thoughts, the Chaîne News On-line interviewed Gary. See the Q&A below.

Marie Jones
Managing Editor

Interview Q&A

Have you always wanted to work in the hotel industry?
Yes! For sure! Being a professional hotel general manager is always being my dream and now I am. In my mind, this industry is very unique and challenging, every day, you will handle different issues and meet different people. The guests you meet are different and the colleagues you work with are very different too. This means the hotelier will be trained or required to have diverse thinking models to handle daily situations, that’s quite attractive and you can even say that you are growing every day.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge managing a luxury hotel in China?
The most challenging is people. It is very important to let people understand and appreciate what the hotel brand stands for, the venues, spirit, and promise the brand defines. What’s more such intangibles have to be translated into tangible services and provisions rendered by our hotel through its people, and only by this can guests satisfactions be achieved.

In terms of leadership style, how would you describe yourself?
Strict - Reliable - Passionate
I am a very demanding GM even to myself. Each of associates working with me is required to be sensitive and productive, they are trained to be proactive and better. That doesn’t mean they are afraid with me, conversely, most of them are happy to work with me, as they can really feel that they grow faster in their career. On the other side, I do appreciate everyone’s effort, and I always spend enough time to guide or coaching team member who want to be stronger. In my philosophy, I always show passion to my associates and my executive members. We are always passionate in our work. That makes a big difference in our results. People make the difference!

What would you say is your biggest contribution to the Westin Chongqing since joining?
I joined Westin Chongqing in 2013, as the Director of Food and Beverage. It has always been one of my goals to set up a unique dining experience for the local market, and it has been successful created. The Westin Chongqing has been made into a well-known location in terms of food, drinks, service and atmosphere in Chongqing. And finally the Westin helped raised Chongqing’s food and beverage quality in the market. Understandably this is a source of pride for me.

What do you like most about being part of the team and your own role at the Westin?
I always treat Westin Chongqing as a baby, our team work together to help the “baby” grow up. My role has been as a strong team player to create an enjoyable, cheerful working environment. Our fame and popularity in the Chongqing market is a result of our persistent and unified team work and spirit, I am very proud of my team has been growing together since the opening till now. Team works makes dream works!