BWH Hotel Group’s long running president and CEO David Kong will be retiring at the end of 2021.
The industry’s longest running CEO, Kong joined Best Western Hotels & Resorts in 2001 and was named CEO in 2004.
“David Kong is a once in a lifetime leader whose contributions to Best Western and BWH Hotel Group are truly immeasurable,” said Ishwar Naran, BWH Hotel Group Board Chairman.
“It has been the honor of my career to work alongside David and witness first-hand his remarkable passion and dedication to our industry. David has always led by example and, most importantly, cared deeply about those he serves from hoteliers, to colleagues, associates, guests and communities.”
Industry leaders also paid their respects to Kong and his two decade long career.
“David Kong is recognised in our industry as a leader that truly cares about people,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of American Hotel & Lodging Association.
“He has been an amazing leader and among the most respected people in this industry.”
Geoff Ballotti, president and CEO at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said Kong has been a mentor to many in the industry “over the years”.
“He inspired me early in my career as he has so many others to get more involved in our industry, including the American Hotel & Lodging Association, AAHOA, and the U.S. Travel Association,” he said.
“He is someone I trust and greatly admire.”
Kong said he felt “very fortunate to have played a role in building BWH Hotel Group into the brand it is today”.
“This industry has empowered me to dream boldly about the future and to pursue those dreams without hesitation,” he said.
“I feel blessed to have been surrounded by exceptional teams throughout my career and through sheer passion and dedication, we have chased bold dreams and achieved what many might have considered impossible.”
BWH Hotel Group will announce a new CEO at the company’s annual convention on October 7.