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The GM with a hotel at the Expo's doorstep

Michel Koopman, the Dutch general manager of the InterContinental Shanghai Expo, may well have received more Expo VIPs than any other hotel GM in the city. The list includes state officials, royals, pop stars, distinguished conductors, film stars and famous entrepreneurs.

The InterContinental Shanghai Expo, which opened in April just before the World Expo began, is right outside Gate 4 of the Expo Park, with a view of the Expo pavilions from all rooms.

It has been one of the most popular choices for national and business delegations visiting and has hosted almost all national Pavilion Day receptions for countries all over the world.

"As I work in the hotel business, it is not rare to see famous people. But I have never seen so many of them in such a condensed period of time as the past four months. I have been seeing familiar faces from TV or magazines every day in our hotel," Koopman tells Shanghai Daily.

"I'm thrilled, and we try to provide them with a wonderful experience, just as we do for all our guests."

He is especially proud of the hotel's unique location and view. He particularly wanted his picture taken on the balcony of the Club InterContinental that has a bird's view of both Pudong and Puxi sites of the Expo Park, and an especially clear view of the grand China Pavilion.

Koopman insisted on having around 20 staff members in the picture with him - he was back in the second row. "I can't run the place all by myself; it is a result of efforts from all our staff members."

Among his happiest moments are the times he hears that former colleagues have been promoted or transferred to places with great potential, and it's satisfying to know he has helped and provided diverse opportunities for them.

"I like taking care of my staff, just as much as taking care of our guests," Koopman says while flipping through the booklet "Winning Ways" about the group's values.

It sums up what Koopman considers "essential and pleasant work in this company - do the right thing, show we care, aim higher, celebrate difference, and work better together."

The GM also looks forward to an even brighter long-term future for the hotel after the Expo ends in six weeks.

"It is difficult in this great metropolis to find a place that combines both a luxurious hotel and a casual resort, like our main building and the villas. I love taking walks around our hotel and I believe the area will get increasingly more vivid even after the Expo," he concludes.


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