Margaret Cheung, of Hong Kong, was a research award winner of the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership while a student in 2011 at Lok Sin Tong Young Ko Hsiao Lin Secondary School*. She is now studying at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management, a highly competitive program. In this guest blog, Margaret recounts her experiences since participating in GTTP activities, and how the program (plus plenty of hard work) has led to her success today, while helping to shape her ambitions for working in the travel and tourism industry. Also click on her photo below to learn more.
My GTTP story starts in 2011 – the year my GTTP studies opened an amazing door into the Travel and Tourism Industry. Back then I was taking Tourism and Hospitality Studies as an elective course at my secondary school, part of the international GTTP program, to gain experience in the hospitality industry. That year GTTP made “Festival Tourism” the subject of its Student Case Writing Competition.
Festivals are a huge part of our lives in Hong Kong. My classmate Kimberly Cheung and I live in the Sha Tin District, where a famous festival called the “Che Kung Dan” is held in the Che Kung Temple. We chose Che Kung Dan as our topic as we not only wanted to promote our local and traditional festival and customs to foreigners, but also we love telling people about all aspects of our community.
I was thrilled to be chosen as part of the winning team from Hong Kong to go to the annual Student/Teacher Conference in Monaco to present our study to other GTTP country winners, their teachers, and executives from GTTP’s “Global Partners.”
All this was amazing for an ordinary secondary student — to travel overseas and communicate with hospitality professionals and make friends with foreign students. It built up the connection between the industry and me and motivated me to make my goal a career in hospitality.
After coming back to Hong Kong from Monaco, my team was invited to present our ideas to a GTTP China meeting in HK and join a GTTP Hong Kong alumni lunch meeting. It showed that the GTTP’s competitions are not transitory events, but lifelong activities with a positive impact on participants.
After the conference, I set out to enrich my industry experience with various activities. For example, I entered the Hong Kong Young Ambassador Scheme. This is sponsored by the Hong Kong Tourism Board to provide support services for tourism events and attractions. I worked part-time in the Hong Kong Ocean Park and in the Hotel Icon’s Banquet Department.
The examiners recognized extra-curricular activities and work experience when I took the Hong Kong public examinations. I was very pleased the results, especially with the top marks I received in Travel and Hospitality Studies — a “5*” or “Starred Five.”
As I am a Year 1 student, I have many dreams and targets on my to-do-list, such as being an exchange student; joining an overseas internship programme, and working in different hospitality industry companies.
After graduating from university, I hope to work in airlines or in a food and beverage department.
I am now on course: study, work hard, and fight for my dream.
*Margaret studied Tourism and Hospitality at Lok Sin Tong Young Ko Hsiao Lin Secondary School