Insights from Dr. Helena Lo, PATA Face of the Future 2015

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PATA is now accepting submissions for PATA Face of the Future 2019 until February 28, 2019. Read the details here >>

As part of a series to check in with former awardees about their current lives, PATA invited Dr. Helena Lo, PATA Face of the Future in 2015, to share some insights. She continues to be the Director of Pousada de Mong-Há at the Educational Hotel of Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) in Macau SAR, a position she had held at the time of her award.

Dr. Lo (right of centre in middle row) with her Pousada de Mong-Há colleagues

This article is guest authored by Dr. Helena Lo.

It is an honour to be invited to share my thoughts as I reflect upon my time as PATA Face of the Future. When asked about skills that I believe are increasingly important for young tourism professionals and advice for them in their careers, the first thing that come to my mind are the following values that I have established since high school. They have been fortified as I moved along my career path, especially after being PATA Face of the Future.

The G.R.E.A.T. principle (we all know this stuff, but at times, everybody needs to be reminded):

G = Gratitude (the feeling or quality of being grateful)

R = Rapport (a good understanding of others and the ability to communicate well)

E = Ego (the idea or opinion that you have of yourself, especially the level of your ability and intelligence and your importance as a person)

A = Action (the process of doing something, especially when dealing with a problem or difficulty, and typically to achieve an aim)

T = Time management (the practice of using the time that you have available in a useful and effective way, especially in your work)

Gratitude is very important for every human being: if you have a good way of talking then everything becomes easier for us. Gratitude is very undervalued in today’s world; with mindful gratitude, it certainly makes a difference and sets you apart from the crowd. At the workplace, success always depends on rapport and teamwork. As no man is an island, one needs good communication skills and a grateful mindset to be a good team player.

Our ego holds a lot of important information that we need to look at to help us make the best decision. Our heart helps to make decisions, whilst ego helps with the action steps. Decide which way you want to go with your heart and then map out a plan to get there with your ego. If you have decided that something is to be done, you’ve got to walk the talk—a modern version of an old saying: actions speak louder than words.

Dr. Lo with her Pousada de Mong-Há colleagues at the Educational Hotel of Institute for Tourism Studies in Macau SAR

Last but not the least: time management. There is a saying that opportunity favours only the prepared mind. To this, I would add, “If you missed the time, opportunities will be gone, just like missing a flight. Whether we assign a dollar value to it or not, time is valuable to each of us.”

Time management is the key to success. It allows you to take control of your life rather than following the flow of others. As you accomplish more each day and make more good decisions, people will notice. Your future boss will come to you when they need to get things done, thus lining you up for advancement opportunities.

A regular day is every single opportunity for me to meet with young tourism professionals, which I hope my passion on the tourism and hospitality industry and the G.R.E.A.T. principle can be contagious.

To the PATA Face of the Future 2019: be ready when opportunity knocks and success will belong to those who persevere until the last!

Dr. Lo (in checkered top, right of centre) with her Pousada de Mong-Há colleagues at the Educational Hotel of Institute for Tourism Studies in Macau SAR

To highlight PATA’s commitment to human capital development, the Association annually presents a special Face of the Future award and prize to an exceptional ‘rising star’ in the industry. All recipients of this prestigious award have exhibited initiative and leadership in the advancement of tourism as well as demonstrating commitment to the sustainable development of the Asia Pacific travel industry in line with PATA’s mission.

PATA is now accepting submissions for PATA Face of the Future 2019 until February 28, 2019.

Read the details here >>