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German hotelier gears up for Asian Games

By Ma Zhenhuan in Hangzhou| chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: April 4, 2023 L M S

After Christoph Knichel and his wife came to Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, 10 months ago, they quickly settled in and fell in love with the city some 180 kilometers from Shanghai.

In relatively small Hangzhou, people can find a lot of culture, he said. For instance, walking along the Grand Canal, one of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city, has already become a routine for him and his wife.

"We really respect the Grand Canal for its history," Knichel said. "I think it's a very nice area."

Born in Cologne, Germany, Knichel — currently the general manager of the Kempinski Hotel Hangzhou — is a seasoned hotelier with a career spanning 30 years. He has worked in the hospitality industry around the world.

"Service in China has always been good," he said, adding that in recent years, it has become much more sophisticated and elegant. "This is a leap China has made across the whole industry."

With the Hangzhou Asian Games just a few months away, Knichel, a keen tennis player and skier, is gearing up for the event.

The city will vibrate when the extravaganza takes place, he said.

"I'm really looking forward to being part of the Games, and really participating and hopefully helping Hangzhou and the country a bit with my little means," he said.

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