Mr Ho, a Singaporean national, is only the 10th recipient to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in the conference’s 30-year history.
As the 2019 winner, Mr Ho is the only recipient of both HICAP’s Innovation Award (2003) and Lifetime Achievement Award (2019).
The HICAP Lifetime Achievement Award honours exceptional individuals who have distinguished themselves through their accomplishments and contributions to expanding, enhancing and advancing the hotel industry in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, noted a release announcing the award.
“I thank HICAP for this award and particularly for honouring me as the only recipient who has won both the Innovation Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award. These awards show that relatively small, independent players in a global hospitality space can remain innovative and relevant if its people remain passionate and purposeful, which are amongst Banyan Tree’s core values,” said Mr Ho.
“This award coming coincidentally on Banyan Tree Group’s 25th anniversary is especially meaningful. It has indeed been a lifetime of large and small achievements – and fortunately, fewer disappointments – for many of us at Banyan Tree who have spent the better part of our adult lives building the company, the brand and its values,” he said.
“This year is an inflection point for us to reflect on what brought us to now, and what we need to steer the journey forward. For me personally, this award is a kind encouragement by my peers to continue to mentor, guide and inspire the next generation of hospitality leaders.”
Mr Ho was born in Hong Kong but lived his childhood years in Thailand where his father, Ho Rih Hwa, was Singapore's Ambassador to the country.
Educated at Tunghai University in Taiwan, Stanford University in California and the University of Singapore, Mr Ho was also the Economics Editor of Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong before joining the Thai Wah family business and then starting his own companies.
Beyond his accomplishments in the hospitality industry, Mr Ho is the founding and current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Singapore Management University, Chairman of The Singapore Summit and Board Director of UK-listed spirits company Diageo, noted the release.
Among various awards, Mr Ho has received the London Business School Entrepreneurship Award; CEO of the Year at the Singapore Corporate Awards; CNBC Travel Business Leader Award; Distinguished Alumnus Award from the National University of Singapore; and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Creativity Association, China Hotel Investment Summit and Australia Hotel Investment Summit.
The Singapore Government has also decorated Mr Ho with the Meritorious Service Medal and the Distinguished Service Order for his services to the country, the release added.
Mr Ho has also been conferred honorary doctorates by Johnson & Wales University and from Hong Kong Poly University.
He is the author of two books. His book “Asking Why” reflects on his journey in journalism and entrepreneurship over a period of 40 years, and includes articles commissioned by The Straits Times; while “The Ocean in a Drop: Singapore in the next Fifty Years” is a compilation of public lectures he gave as the Inaugural Fellow of the SR Nathan Lecture Series, named after the Sixth President of Singapore, the release pointed out.
Mr Ho is married to Claire Chiang, Senior Vice President, Banyan Tree Holdings. They have three children – two sons and a daughter and three grandchildren.