This article is brought to you by Tai O Heritage Hotel.
Enthusiastic graduates receive training in hospitality, heritage, and sustainable tourism at the UNESCO-awarded Tai O Heritage Hotel.
The Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation (HCF), which operates the UNESCO-awarded Tai O Heritage Hotel, has furthered its efforts in heritage conservation and nurturing future industry leaders with the Hospitality Young Leaders Programme.
Committed to showcasing the heritage significance of historical projects, HCF has revitalised the Old Tai O Police Station, a Grade II historic building completed in 1902, into the nine-room Tai O Heritage Hotel. Since commencing operations in March 2012, the hotel has been operated as a not-for-profit social enterprise with surpluses channelled for site maintenance. It also supports employment, with half of its workforce coming from Tai O or Lantau.
The inaugural Hospitality Young Leaders Programme commenced in July 2020. Spanning 12 months, 10 enthusiastic local graduates, with nine of them having studied tourism or conservation-related subjects, have been hired and received comprehensive on-the-job training in eco-tourism, hospitality, heritage and cultural conservation, including stints at the front desk, reservation, housekeeping, sustainability, and various departments of the hotel.
The programme has been well-received as the young leaders appreciate the vocational opportunities amid the challenging business environment.
In addition to equipping themselves with practical knowledge through cross-departmental rotations, they participate in an array of community outreach and engagement activities, including docent tours and traditional festivities to present the historical and architectural significance of the hotel and Tai O to visitors and future generations.
"Amidst the globally challenging time, it is even more important to support our committed and talented youth and better prepare them for the future. We are delighted to have the opportunity to provide this meaningful platform for aspiring young leaders to learn practical, professional industry skills, laying a solid foundation for their career development," remarks Daryl Ng, SBS, JP, Director of the Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation.
"At the same time, they are able to experience first-hand the unique charm of the Tai O fishing village and Tai O Heritage Hotel, Hong Kong’s first UNESCO-awarded property. It also helps the youth to understand our unique Hong Kong history and culture, connect to the community and contribute to our society in a positive way. I look forward to their contributions to our hotels, the industry and the community."
Candice Chan from the class of 2020/21, and who has recently completed the Programme, treasures the meaningful opportunity and exposure. "University education is more focused on theories. This programme enables me to put what I learnt into practice, increasing my industry knowledge and helps me better prepare for the future," she comments.
Graduated young leaders will be deployed to other hotels to further their career development in the hospitality industry.
The Hospitality Young Leaders Programme has received an overwhelming response, with hundreds of applications received for the second edition. A total of 10 enthusiastic young leaders have been identified, who commenced their one-year comprehensive training in mid-July 2021.
Tai O Heritage Hotel (Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation) won silver for Best Internship Programme at the Asia Recruitment Awards 2021, Hong Kong. Meet all the winners here.
Photo / Provided