The Western and Eastern worlds are moving ever closer together, with the relative cheapness and prevalence of air travel, and the advent of that magical medium known as the internet. Business is often done with overseas partners, and a larger percentage of air passengers travel for business than for pleasure. Hong Kong is now one of the world's most multicultural cities, with many overseas companies opening Hong Kong branches.
However, with all of these new experiences and interactions comes confusion and uncertainty, especially in dealing with people from foreign cultures. In this article we look at why a good base for your travels is essential, in the form of a luxury hotel or spa in Hong Kong, and also go through some tips for doing business in Hong Kong.
If you are travelling to Hong Kong for business, be prepared for the pace of life in the city. It has been described as 'frenetic' - much like New York or London. The people that live in Hong Kong are often characterized as entrepreneurial, competitive, hardworking and very commercial. Best not to waste the time of these hard workers! They are very deadline conscious. It is also advisable to have a local contact make initial steps towards business dealings for you. These connections are known as quanxi in Cantonese, one of Hong Kong's official languages, and they help you establish some credibility before you meet your business partners.
Other things to consider when doing business in Hong Kong include local holidays like Chinese New Year. Many people take several weeks holiday around this time - January-February - just as Westerners often do at Christmas. If you are scheduling a meeting, it is best to do so well in advance - these are busy people, remember! Confirm appointments the day before they are scheduled, just in case. While your meeting is in progress, do not discuss politics - the same rules as for family gatherings in the West. To avoid fights, politics and religion are off the conversational cards.
Staying in Hong Kong for business is a great opportunity to experience some of the city's excellent five-star facilities, luxury hotels and spas. The Landmark Mandarin Oriental is a great choice of you are looking to stay in the Central district. This hotel is known for the spaciousness of its rooms and the gorgeous contemporary decor. The business facilities at this Hong Kong luxury hotel include a cable HDTV with keyboard for internet access, wireless internet in all rooms, an in room safe as well as laundry and dry cleaning service. If you want to do some intensive relaxing at your luxury Hong Kong hotel after your intensive business meetings, the Zen-like spa has some excellent treatments and relaxation areas.
The Shangri-La Bangkok is a great luxury hotel for longer trips to Hong Kong. The executive suites are one of the hotel's best features, with a separate living and sleeping area, the option to connect to an additional room to create a two bedroom suite, and a beautiful marble bathroom. The business facilities include an in-house mobile phone (avoid the horrendous roaming charges on your own phone), an ipod docking station, fax, printer and scanner, a high speed data transfer port, and a limousine service. Upon arrival, guests are personally escorted to their rooms, and the personal touch to the service certainly does not end there, with 24-hr butler service and massage facilities.
If you are moving up the corporate ranks, Hong Kong is almost certain to be a business destination for you at some stage. Make use of the city's excellent luxury hotels and spas while you are there, and you'll have an experience as intensely relaxing as it is productive!