New faces boost Fairmont expansion

In response to recent expansion activity and its growing presence in Asia, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has announced several senior management appointments designed to support and further strengthen the brand’s position as a leader in the global hospitality industry. Joining the Fairmont Singapore, Fairmont has announced six additional properties in its Asia-Pacific development pipeline and is aggressively pursing additional growth opportunities throughout the region. Projects currently in development include the Fairmont Beijing (2008), Fairmont Yangcheng Lake Hotel, Kunshan (2009), Fairmont Macao, Cotai Strip (2010), Fairmont Manila, Philippines (2010), and Shanghai’s legendary Peace Hotel, an iconic property currently in the midst of an unprecedented renovation (2010).

The most recent appointment is David Roberts, who has been promoted to the role of Executive Vice President, Operations, Asia Pacific of Fairmont Raffles Hotels International (FRHI), the parent company of the luxury hotel brand. Roberts moves into this newly created role from his most recent post as Regional Vice President & General Manager, The Fairmont Banff Springs. Based in Singapore, Roberts will oversee and have direct responsibility for the day-to-day operations of FRHI’s entire Asia Pacific collection.  In addition, Roberts’ responsibilities will include driving hotel performance and managing owner relations, while providing support and direction on the company’s overseas growth and development activity.

Relocating to Singapore along with Roberts is Matthew Sparks, one of FRHI’s key development executives who was recently promoted to Senior Vice President, Global Development, FRHI, and is now directly responsible for expansion activity in Asia Pacific.  Sparks, who also directs the company’s growth strategy for The Americas, has a mandate to accelerate brand development in Asia Pacific and will also look to build upon the company’s core capabilities and available resources in the region.  Considered an interim assignment, Sparks will return to North America once a regional development team has been established and projected growth targets have been realized.

Supporting Sparks in his pursuit of brand expansion in Asia are Michael Ong, who earlier this year was named Vice President, Development, China, FRHI, and Ada Bjordahl, Executive Director, Development, Asia Pacific.  Located in Shanghai, Ong, who brings over 15 years of hotel experience to the new position, most recently served as the company’s Executive Director, Development, Asia and is tasked with advancing hotel construction and pursuing additional opportunities for brand growth in China. Bjordahl, who joined the company late last year and is based in Singapore, is also responsible for the execution and development of Asia-based hotel projects.

Another new face to the region is Philip Smith, who was recently named the General Manager of the Fairmont Yangcheng Lake Hotel in Kunshan.  Arriving from idyllic Canadian resort The Fairmont Algonquin, Smith brings close to a quarter century’s worth of experience with Fairmont to this new resort, which will be located on the scenic shores of Yang Cheng Lake in the Jiangsu Province of China.  In this new role, Smith will provide leadership and guidance to the hotel’s pre-opening team as they prepare the hotel for an anticipated 2009 debut.


In a move that boosts Fairmont’s overseas sales strength, Stephen Blyth has been promoted to Executive Director, Sales & Marketing, Asia Pacific, FRHI.  A familiar face at Fairmont, boasting more than 30 years with the company, Blyth is now responsible for the development and implementation of regional sales and marketing strategies, plans and budgets for transitional hotels in Asia Pacific, as well as monitoring and maximizing the sales and marketing strategies for hotels operating within the region. Most recently, Blyth served as Executive Director, Travel & Leisure Sales, based in Vancouver, overseeing the leisure travel segments for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ sales activities in Asia Pacific.