Midweek Catch-up with La Vie Hotels & Resorts’ Shellia Chang

Midweek Catch-up with La Vie Hotels & Resorts’ Shellia Chang

We had a blast interviewing La Vie Hotels & Resorts’ group director of sales and distributions, and we’re not just saying that to try to blag a hotel stay.

What’s your main goal for this year?

At the beginning of 2022, I made the move from an international hotel chain to an agile, customer and owner-focused independent hotel management company.

As part of working alongside a team of results-driven and commercially savvy international hoteliers at La Vie Hotels & Resorts, the goal is to become the leading independent hotel management company in the Asia-Pacific region.

Personally, my goal is to explore more of the world and spend time with friends and family.

What’s your favourite thing about working in the travel industry?

The hospitality of the people you meet, the great stories you tell and are told, the everlasting connections you make, the unique experiences, and the endless possibilities at every destination.

How do you like to spend your free time?

Outside of spending time with friends and family, I love being outdoors and active. I also really love reading, which I can do a lot while travelling, and cooking when I am at home.

Have you managed to do any travelling since restrictions began to ease (domestic or international)?

Working for a fast-growing company such as La Vie has led to a lot of travelling for me this year, which has been really exciting off the back of the pandemic and lockdowns.

So far this year I have travelled to Melbourne, Hobart, and some regional domestic areas.

When it comes to international travel I have been lucky enough to visit Singapore, Sri Lanka (Kandy, Colombo and Galle), Bangladesh (Dhaka), and Thailand (Bangkok and Phuket), which are all some of the cities where we have opened new hotels this year.

What’s your favourite travel company, besides the one you work for?

I love to tour with local companies, and really source out any bespoke experiences. I think they are simply the best way to see different cities.

If you could invite three famous guests (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would you choose?

Someone to make the food – Gordon Ramsay, someone to tell the stories – The Obamas (I can’t pick one), and someone to entertain – Aretha Franklin.

What’s something positive you’ve witnessed or experienced since the global pandemic hit?

For me, (and I think for most people) the pandemic has given us the opportunity to pause, rethink, regroup and refocus personally and professionally.

The travel and hospitality industry experienced the greatest hit globally. The positive side here has been the shift of focus to digital, automation, workplace flexibility and finding new ways of doing business.

What’s your advice for others in the travel industry on coping with the global pandemic?

For business owners, innovation, investment in technology and being agile is a must. It has been imperative to invest in the tools and resources for recovery.

As a consumer, we must be patient, be more understanding and support businesses and hospitality workers where we can as we transition out of this global pandemic. The world will be back and no doubt stronger, but it is going to take time and growing pains all over again!

What book and/or TV show can you not get enough of lately?

Currently, I am reading Becoming by Michelle Obama. I read Open by Andre Agassi during my last work trip – I love autobiographies.

What are your current travel goals?

Even though we are almost on Q4, for leisure, I would love to explore New Zealand or Europe, somewhere with lots of green fields, open space, lakes and water, nature, and serenity.

Work-wise, I have frequent trips domestically and within South and Southeast Asia on my calendar, due to La Vie’s rapid growth and expansion. I am most excited to visit our new resort due to open in a very stunning and tropical location later this year!

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