Providing a 360 tourist service

by Christina Tai

Bonnie Lau, director of human resources Skyrail-ITM (Hong Kong) Limited

Cable car provides link to multiple new attractions

Once it is fully operational, the Ngong Ping 360 is expected to quickly become a "must" on the itinerary of every tourist visiting Hong Kong. The cable-car system will not only provide panoramic views of Lantau island on the ride from Tung Chung, but will also introduce visitors to a number of new attractions designed around various cultural and religious traditions.

The guiding vision of the operating company has been to create one of the world's great tourism experiences. This will include the 25-minute cable-car ride, as well as the exciting and educational "Ngong Ping Village" laid out below Lantau's famous Big Buddha statue.

"The pursuit of excellence with innovation defines what we want to achieve," says Bonnie Lau, director of human resources for Skyrail-ITM (Hong Kong) Limited. Today, the target is to deliver outstanding guest services and a memorable experience that exceeds visitors' expectations.

The company is offering diverse career opportunities, but all applicants must fully understand the importance of providing outstanding service. This comes down to being patient, friendly, courteous, dedicated to continuous improvement, and passionate about achieving excellence. Prior experience in a tourism or hospitality management role is considered an advantage.

"Our guest service crew should also be highly presentable," says Ms Lau. Their role involves communicating instructions clearly, making guests feel comfortable and safe, and avoiding unnecessary misunderstandings. The training programme covers basic induction, first aid, and specialised courses on ticketing and cableway operations for those concerned.

The current plan is also to be actively involved in providing training and work experience for students of hospitality- and tourism-related programmes. This is seen as one way of making a contribution to the community and helping young people who need to complete work placements as part of their courses.

In offering general advice for job seekers, Ms Lau stresses that they should spell out their expectations, work experience and career aspirations. It is then easier to match them with the available jobs. She has, though, been very encouraged to find that most applicants show initiative and are excited by the infinite potential for career development with Ngong Ping 360.

Every new business is likely to encounter some obstacles at the outset. However, Ms Lau emphasises that challenges can be overcome by ensuring that the whole team pulls together and that morale remains high. This is a core principle for the company and is linked to a set of values which encourages open communication at all levels as the best way of solving problems and seeking improvements.

"A positive outlook and a 'can-do' attitude characterise the company and all members of staff know that they will receive complete support in the efforts to provide excellent guest service," Ms Lau says.

Iconic attractions

Ngong Ping Skyrail
A 20 to 25-minute cable-car journey allows visitors to glide across Tung Chung Bay and up to the cultural and environmental charms of Ngong Ping Plateau

Tea House
Set among beautifully landscaped gardens, the tea house provides regular demonstrations of traditional Chinese tea ceremonies and offers a selection of fine teas and cakes

Walking with Buddha
An expansive, multimedia attraction allowing guests to follow the life of Buddha and his path to enlightenment

Monkey's Tale Theatre
A charming and comical show inspired by the Buddhist Jataka stories

Taken from Career Times 04 August 2006
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