I've worked at hotels in three different markets in China. All were equally challenging, but there is a common thread: the people. Managing hotels in Beijing was much simpler before the 2008 Olympics as there were fewer choices. Room inventory increased dramatically and salaries grew to an almost unmanageable scale. Over time, the new hotels matured and have led to the presence of incredible brands. The most notable change has been in costs, specifically with regard to energy and labour. These elements rose drastically, which had a great impact on the industry. The challenges in Beijing remain: keeping great teams motivated and using your product to fill your hotel. After eight years in Beijing, I moved to Hefei, the provincial capital of Anhui province, to open a new hotel. The biggest challenge to begin with was getting goods into the city, as beef, fresh fish and vegetables were hard to come by. It was challenging to establish relationships and train local suppliers about the importance of quality goods and hygiene. It was encouraging to work with helpful people with a great work ethic. During our recruitment, we had more than 2,000 applicants, many without hotel experience. We knew that training would be key to our success. Next, I returned north to Tianjin to work at The St Regis Tianjin. New hotels are opening and huge developments being built by the Bohai Sea and the Binhai area. The major challenge is the competitive environment as there are many hotels to compete with and new products on the horizon. There are challenges to managing hotels in every city, but if you can get the right people, you'll be able to deliver great service and guests will come back.