Ren Yung Ho, the heiress of Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, is serious about building a regenerative business

Profile


Sometime in the 1980s, Ren Yung Ho’s parents Claire Chiang and Ho Kwong Ping set out to build a resort in Phuket, Thailand. But then they learned that the plot of land they had purchased for this purpose suffered from tin mining pollution. Undeterred, they resolved to rehabilitate the area, working with scientists and experts until 1994, when the first-ever Banyan Tree resort was finally opened. From then on, Banyan Tree would grow to become a company composed of dozens of international luxury resorts, all founded on the cornerstone of protecting and restoring the environment.

As an heir to her parents’ hospitality empire, Ho knows this story well, and applies it to her role in the family business. The second-generation scion is now the senior vice president of Brand HQ at Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, which means she is in charge of growing and nurturing the Banyan Tree brand including new offshoots such as Banyan Tree Escapes, which just opened its first property in Bali, Indonesia. Sustainability, she knows, will be key to that brand as it continues to grow towards a post-pandemic future.

“I aspire for the Banyan Tree brand to be an activist around our connection to others and nature; to bring out the good in life,” she once told Tatler. “Much of our new well-being offerings will focus on creating this mindful connection. Our brand’s founding roots have always been in regenerative travel, and the philosophy of leaving a place better than when we first found it. Today, that is more needed than ever.”


“Customers today want experiences they have a personal connection with, and that make them see their own lives in a different way. Brands that drive emotional responses will be the ones that last. We will be looking into unexpected travel destinations and delivering specialised experiences that are anchored by strong narratives." 


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In 2021, Ren Yung Ho became a steering committee member of the Singapore Chapter of the Climate Governance Initiative. 

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