SJM Holdings Chairman Daisy Ho invited as speaker at the Greater Bay Area Leadership Special Interview Series of the Global Tourism Economy Forum
Ms. Daisy Ho, Chairman of SJM Holdings Limited, was invited as a guest speaker at the “Greater Bay Area Leadership Special Interview Series” of the Global Tourism Economy Forum (“GTEF”), during which she shared her views on the importance of solidarity and innovation amidst the pandemic and the development of the Greater Bay Area. The Forum was held on 9 December 2020 in Macau, hosted by the Secretariat for Economy and Finance of the Macau SAR Government, and in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization, with Macau Government Tourism Office and the China Chamber of Tourism as co-organisers, and the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre as coordinator.
During the online interview, Ms. Daisy Ho stressed the importance of solidarity and innovation during the pandemic. Rooted in Macau for almost six decades, SJM’s staff members were spontaneous on supporting the company and the Macau SAR Government on the anti-pandemic measures. She cited a few examples: SJM and its parent company STDM immediately provided four hotels when the government was in need of quarantine venues. The company also helped the government to transmit preventive messages on the pandemic via its hotels. In addition, SJM supported NGOs and other needy groups, including the “Calling Macau Students to Fight Virus with Art” activity organised by Macau Chinese Arts and Culture Association, which had invited primary and secondary students to express their concern for the pandemic and to release positive energy in the community. She pointed out Macau had limited visitations given tight border restrictions when the pandemic started off, and the number of visitors gradually increased with the resumption of the individual travel scheme from Mainland. This demonstrated the successful efforts of the government on containing the disease, turning Macau into one of the safest and healthiest cities in the world.
Ms. Ho mentioned in her speech about Chief Executive Ho Yat Seng’s dedication to turn Macau into a “Smart City” and “Digital Macau”, with more resources being allocated to smart governance, smart border crossing, smart healthcare, smart tourism and smart transport. The pandemic has magnified the importance of a data interoperability platform, and she believes that such smart development will help the recovery of the city. Through the Grand Lisboa Palace Project, SJM established a young team comprising over 100 Macau locals, who had designed and developed over 150 IT applications for the resort. The company also provided training programmes for the fresh university graduates. Upon the opening of the Grand Lisboa Palace, SJM will further leverage on the advantages of local IT talents and apply their knowledge to other projects and departments of the company.
Ms. Ho pointed out three advantages of Macau in the development of the Greater Bay Area, including Macau’s role as a training centre for tourism and hospitality professionals, a UNESCO city where East-meets-West, and a creative city of gastronomy, and SJM has played a significant part in all these three roles. The company supported the training of hospitality professionals in local institutions; SJM, STDM and her late father Dr. Stanley Ho have been devoted to cultural preservation; and SJM is world-renown for the quality of its restaurants, boasting 7 Michelin stars at the Grand Lisboa. Furthermore, with the Grand Lisboa Palace IT team, SJM can conduct a lot of exchanges on innovations and technology with other cities in the Greater Bay Area.
She further talked about the East-meets-West theme which is running from the architecture throughout the Grand Lisboa Palace - inspired by European landmark architecture, but decorated with Chinese symbols and motifs, and coupled with the theme of Chinoiserie. She believes that the Grand Lisboa Palace will be a major contributor and beneficiary of the Greater Bay Area, bringing new excitements to visitors from the Greater Bay Area and the world.