Ernst Zimmerman is an Associate of Global Strategic Associates, LLC based in Hong Kong.
With over 40 years of business experience in the hospitality industry in Asia, Ernst is virtually a household name in China’s hotel industry and has reached the highest echelon in his field. He was one of the first expatriates to successfully pioneer and expand an American hotel brand in China.
Before relocating to Asia from Europe, he worked in the hospitality business in Italy, England, and Switzerland. He then was with Holiday Inn for 15 years, during which time he was a founding member of the Executive Committee for Holiday Inn Asia Pacific (now known as IHG). At Holiday Inn Asia Pacific, Ernst was responsible for overseeing the operations of all Holiday Inn hotels while working on the development of the hotel chain throughout the region. He was also the first General Manager of the Holiday Inn Lido, Beijing, which was at that time the largest Holiday Inn in the world.
In 1991, Ernst was CEO and one of the four founding partners of Zenith Hotels International Ltd. (formerly KYZ International Ltd.). Zenith provided hotel management services and technical assistance to hotel owners, developing more than 20 properties throughout China and Southeast Asia. After a joint venture between Accor (China) and Zenith, Ernst was responsible for the operations of the company’s hotels in China and, as its Senior Vice President, expanded the Accor chain throughout the region.
Most recently, Ernst was responsible for re-positioning and promoting the Sofitel Luxury Hotels brand in Greater China as the Senior Vice President of Sofitel China.