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Vivian Lee is Executive Director, Business Development and Education, at Ocean Park Hong Kong. Since 1999, she has been responsible for numerous special events at the park and now works on a new department dedicated to both guest experience and education. She has served on IAAPA committees and was awarded the Distinguished Marketing Leadership Award by the Hong Kong Management Association in 2007.


 
 

Thoughts on Women in the Industry


What is the most pressing issue facing women in the workplace today, and how can the attractions industry influence positive change?

I think one of the most pressing issues nowadays is how corporations can maintain a balanced work/life environment for women to accommodate both career and family. The attractions industry can facilitate this by providing flexible working hours/place and some bigger facilities can even provide child care centers. Longer maternity leave is another avenue of support.

Sometimes the facility can provide opportunities for families to participate in company activities, which also helps improve the park. For example, our park rotates managers to take part in duty tours every weekend so the employees can enjoy the park with their families and provide feedback to the park for improvement. How have you seen the industry evolve in regard to gender roles? I do see many senior management roles are now held by females. For example, in our executive team, there was only one female out of 10 a decade ago; now we have four females in the team.

What is one piece of advice you’d like to convey to women starting their attractions careers?
Be open minded, confident, and try new things. Attractions involve many different departments, therefore empathy and listening skills are important to understand other people's concerns.


Creating Careers of Distinction


How do you invest in yourself as a leader?

Apart from taking EMBA courses many years ago, I keep myself fresh by attending different seminars and workshops every year to learn new things and best practices. I expose myself to different facilities and learn from other leaders is also useful. I’ve also found that talking to youngsters more can be inspiring!

What is your most cherished work principle?
Be open minded and learn from mistakes.

What do you consider your most significant career accomplishment?

Marketing a brand new Halloween concept in Hong Kong and made it a marketing opportunity not only for Ocean Park but all of Hong Kong was my biggest accomplishment.

What has had the greatest impact on your career?

The success of marketing Halloween event in Hong Kong and the continued success of marketing Ocean Park after the arrival of Disneyland in Hong Kong had the greatest impact on my career. It helped me build self confidence and I learned many things along the way. Not only gained me the Distinguished Marketing Leadership Award in Hong Kong but the company also built trust in me and eventually promoted me to the executive director's role.

What has been the greatest challenge of your career?

The greatest challenge of my career was the time when Disneyland arrived in Hong Kong. Facing this renowned international brand, Ocean Park being a local theme park, would never be able to compete with them. I then created marketing campaigns to differentiate Ocean Park from them by high-lighting Ocean Park as a Hong Kong's people park to gain local loyalty and a real animal experience providing edutainment. This helped the Park not lose guests when Disney opened the first but even reached record high attendance. The brand and attendance were also building up year after year.


The Future of the Industry


Why did you join and choose to stay in the attractions business?
I joined because the industry was fun! I've been working in this industry for 18 years and I'm still not bored, so I stay. Every day I have new challenges, but satisfaction is great when you see lots of visitors coming in and enjoy the park.

What makes you most passionate about the industry?
How to use technology and creativity to create the best customer experience.



​​Know a professional we should talk to? E-mail Prasana William, IAAPA manager, digital content and strategy.

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