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A Commitment to Excellence: Meet Pamela Ong

Celebrating International Women’s Day on Wednesday (Mar 8), we had a great opportunity to sit and chat with Pamela Ong, Pamela Ong, General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott Phuket Town, to speak about her career journey and success story, which has the potential to inspire and empower a new generation of female hospitality leaders.

By Nattha Thepbamrung

Sunday 12 March 2023, 12:30PM

Pamela Ong, General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott Phuket Town. photo: Supplied

Pamela Ong, General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott Phuket Town. photo: Supplied

Pamela joined Marriott International in 2001 as Director of Sales & Marketing of Miri Marriott Resort & Spa in Malaysia. Since then, her professional career with Marriott has grown from strength to strength.

A highly motivated executive with a commitment to excellence, Pamela is a BMSC Sales University certified trainer and completed the Marriott Elevate General Manager program in 2018. In 2021, she oversaw the successful opening of Courtyard by Marriott Phuket Town as Hotel Manager, before achieving her first General Manager role.

Throughout her career, Pamela has proven that high-quality management is not gender-specific and that women have a vital role to play in the leadership of all industries, including hospitality.

“Continue to push the boundaries and strive for excellence. Success is no accident; it is a combination of perseverance, passion for what you are doing, and the belief in your ability to be successful and impact others positively.”

What’s your educational background? Was it hospitality/hotel management?

I studied Secretarial Studies and decided to join the hotel industry as a Sales Coordinator at 19. Starting from a very junior position, I was fortunate to have great mentors throughout my career who helped me excel and further push my boundaries.

What was your hotel management experience that made you become the successful GM of Marriott Courtyard?

I had many mentors who let me have hands-on experience in taking on more extensive responsibilities despite the role I had. This helped me with my people and project management skills. Also, the pandemic made us realise how we utilise and manage with limited resources.

What do you think are the main things that made you successful in your career?

I always have a ‘can do’ attitude and am very optimistic. I believe you need to have the right mindset to be successful, as that will propel you to pursue both knowledge and excellence and drive you to do and achieve more.

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Do you have a passion for hotel/hospitality?

I am incredibly passionate about the hotel, from my team members to guests. When I was growing up, my parents would spend every school holiday with a local hotel staycation, so I was always amazed by the magic that happens at hotels. When I started working in the industry, making a difference to a guest and our associates and seeing their reactions and happiness was a key driver to my passion for improving the hotel and service wherever I am.

What is your own management strategy as a GM?

At Marriott, our core values drive us where we put people first, both guests and associates, so my management strategy is very people focused, with delivery by execution of projects and plans. Success is achieved as a team, and we must involve the impacted. I have very open conversations with my team members and give them feedback; they can also share challenges with me, knowing they have my support.

What do you think is the strength of Marriott Courtyard?

The strength of Courtyard by Marriott Phuket Town is our associates. They are passionate, and our assets, ensuring all our guests are well looked after.

What are your future plans for hotel management during this time as tourism starts to recover?

With tourism starting to bounce back, Phuket is having a workforce challenge. One of our management strategies is to keep reaching out to the next generation to showcase how Marriott International is the best place to work with a strong pipeline of hotels to open. We want to showcase connecting people through the power of travel and that, as a company, we invest in our associates and provide access to opportunities.

As a successful woman, what encouragement would you offer other women who are working their way to their accomplishments?

Do not be afraid to dream and reach for the stars. There are equal opportunities out there for everyone who is driven and has the passion to strive for success. Find a mentor who is able to be a sounding board, who is able to steer you in the right direction, and always keep a positive attitude as there will be some hurdles along the way. Conquering those hurdles will make you a stronger leader.

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