Best Western Hotels CEO David Kong to retire

David Kong
David Kong, CEO BWH Hotel Group. (Mark Green)

BWH Hotel Group has announced that CEO David Kong will be retiring at the end of 2021. 

Kong joined the company in 2001 and was named CEO in 2004. BWH Hotel Group will announce a new CEO at the company’s annual convention on 7 October.

“I feel very fortunate to have played a role in building BWH Hotel Group into the brand it is today. I have always wanted to move on at my peak. With our caring culture, our extraordinary hoteliers, executive team, and corporate staff, I have no doubt the best is yet to come for BWH Hotel Group,” Kong said.

Kong arrived in the United States from Hong Kong as a young adult and started his career in hospitality as a dishwasher and busboy before gradually rising up the ranks in the industry.

Prior to joining Best Western, Kong worked at consultancy firm KPMG and had a 20-year stint at Hyatt Hotels.

“David has been a mentor to so many of us over the years,” said Geoff Ballotti, CEO, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. “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 is someone I trust and greatly admire.”

In his time at Best Western, Kong has grown the business from one to 18 brands, leading the acquisition of WorldHotels Collection as well as PMS provider AutoClerk.

Kong recently appeared on stage at IHIF 2021and spoke about how the Covid-19 pandemic had accelerated the pace of change of the increased adoption of technology in the industry.