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Bensley campaigns for change in hotel design


HONG KONG 18 July 2019: Architect Bill Bensley, will deliver the keynote address at the 13th annual Global Wellness Summit 15 to 17 October in Hong Kong.

An outspoken, Bensley will challenge delegates to rethink how hotels and resorts are designed and built by addressing questions he believes the conscientious traveller of the future will ask.

“Does the hotel respect its environment? Does it respect the people who engage with it? Does the hotel add in any way to the community?”

Bensley says hotel developers need to answer these questions and be willing to change their business models.

“Our fragile environments walk a tightrope to a healthy future—let’s ask those questions now before it’s too late,” says Bensley. “Conservation of the world’s wild places matter.”

Bensley designed the Four Seasons Tented Camp in Chiang Rai Thailand and the recently launched Shinta Mani Wild, a luxury tent resort in Cambodia’s South Cardamom forest.

In a recent article penned for the Robb Report, Bensley wrote about his frustration with developers who are only concerned with short-term rewards.

Bill Bensley

 “I work with developers who, for the most part, have a very short-sighted vision of the future…If a hotel can recoup its cost and pay its debt in seven years, then the rest is cream, and everyone is happy.

“The islands will take longer than that to sink, so why bother ourselves with the stress? But those rows and rows of overwater bungalows are creating the slums of the future. Remember Waterworld?”

Over the years he has worked on more than 200 projects in 40 countries, including Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur; MAIA Seychelles; Four Seasons Langkawi; Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve; Four Seasons Tented Camp; and Bensley’s own Shinta Mani resorts.

His distractors might suggest there could be some unsustainable, environmentally unfriendly skeletons hidden among so many projects accumulated over the years. He is likely to be the first to point them out in his pull no punches keynote address.

With a 2019 theme of “Shaping the Business of Wellness,” the 13th annual Summit, will take place at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong from 5 to 17 October.

The Global Wellness Summit claims to reach out to international leaders in the USD4.2 trillion global wellness economy. The gathering is held annually in different locations worldwide and has taken place in the US, Switzerland, Turkey, Bali, India, Morocco, Mexico, Austria and Italy.

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