Promoting Heritage, Culture & Community

‘This is a meaningful platform for aspiring young leaders to learn practical, professional skills about hospitality and conservation. It also helps Hong Kong youth to understand our unique Hong Kong history and culture, connect to the community and contribute to our society in a positive way. In a globally challenging time like this, it’s even more important to pass our positive values to the youth, help them to appreciate diverse traditions and prepare them for the future. I look forward to their contributions to the heritage hotel and community.’
— Daryl Ng, Director of the Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation

The Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation (HCF), a not-for-profit organisation set up by the Ng Family, has furthered its efforts to support heritage and culture with the launch of the Hospitality Young Leaders Programme. Commencing on 15 July 2020 and spanning one year, ten passionate graduates of Hong Kong universities and institutes have joined the meaningful programme to receive valuable training in sustainable tourism, hospitality, heritage and cultural conservation, including a stint at Tai O Heritage Hotel.

The participants will be able to equip themselves with practical knowledge through on-the-job training across departments. They will also support an array of community outreach and engagement activities, including docent tours and festivities to present the historical and architectural significance of the Hotel to local and overseas visitors. The one-year programme will conclude with a presentation by the young leaders to share their thoughts on promoting Tai O as a sustainable tourism destination.

Local graduate Cheryl Fung is one of the participants in the programme. ‘As a local resident, I’ve always enjoyed the enchanting fishing village and its unique history. I want to share the beauty of the place where I was born and raised with more people. This is a great opportunity to learn about heritage and hospitality — it will enable me to have a better understanding of the industry as well as clearer direction for my career development,’ she says.

Ronald Mak, a graduate of tourism and event management, is another participant who looks forward to gaining a better understanding of Tai O and its historical significance. ‘I treasure the opportunity in this challenging time. In addition to acquiring practical knowledge in hotel management, I can learn to promote sustainable tourism and the beauty of Hong Kong to a wider audience. I look forward to supporting the community,’ says Ronald.

The nine-room Tai O Heritage Hotel was revitalised and converted by the Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation from the 118-year-old Old Tai O Police Station, a Grade II historic building, and commenced operation in March 2012. Operated as a not-for-profit social enterprise with surpluses channelled to support maintenance of the site, the hotel supports the Tai O community by showcasing the heritage significance of the building and promoting Tai O as an eco-tourism hotspot. The Hotel won the UNESCO Award for Merit at the 2013 Asia-Pacific Awards in Cultural Heritage Conservation, making it the first UNESCO-awarded hotel in Hong Kong.

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