The first series of the Future Leaders Programme at the Sala Baï Hotel School launched, sponsored by eHotelier, Swiss-Bell International, and the Friends of Sala Baï Australia. The programme has been carefully designed to provide participants with the opportunity to increase their knowledge and understanding in the key management areas of hospitality, whilst developing their leadership skills to take up more senior positions and advance their careers.

The hospitality industry is growing at a considerable pace to keep up with the tourism demands of visitors wanting to experience the heritage, culture, and attractions of Cambodia. This is particularly true of Siem Reap, the Home of Angor Wat, the unique and extensive UNESCO heritage site.

The Future Leaders Programme is, at present, for alumni of the Sala Bai hotel school who have a minimum of three years industry experience and have gained at least one promotion. The entire programme runs over a year, and consists of three, three-day workshops between three and four months apart, where each workshop is based on tackling realistic industry scenarios that are focussed in key management areas.

This the first workshop was based on hospitality operations and sales and marketing. Whilst important management areas they provide for an opportunity for a wide range of leadership development tasks and activities that took the participants out of their comfort zones and encourage them to take on leadership roles and develop the self-confidence so vital for future leaders.

Professional visits to the Park Hyatt and Aviary Hotels in Siem Reap provided a valuable contribution to extending and developing the participants’ professional knowledge of different styles of operations and approaches to sales and marketing.

The 21 participants, all from the Siem Reap industry, were challenged to work in groups to develop, market, cost and present an ‘English’ theme week. The presentation had to include an operational and sales and marketing plan as well as an outline financial statement. Feedback on the plans was provided by Mr. Edward Faull, Vice President, Projects and Developments, Swiss-Bell Hotels, Mr. Philippe Bes, Director of the Sala Baï Hotel School and Professor Peter A Jones, Dean eHotelier Academy, who designed the programme and led the workshops.

“ I was most impressed by the passion and enthusiasm shown by the participants and real opportunities this programme provides, not just for the individuals but for the wider industry in Siem Reap.” Said Mr. Edward Faull. “We are delighted to be involved in sponsoring such a worthwhile programme”

The participants were challenged in undertaking a variety of leadership tasks that were focused on the importance of communications between a leader and the team. This included evaluating and redesigning a battery-free, cheap and ‘green’ mobile phone system. The early prototypes are shown in the photograph.

The second photograph shows the participants having received their Bernie mascots from Edward Faull after their presentations. Bernie is the Swiss-Bell mascot and for every Bernie sold the company donates $2 to the Sala Baï Hotel School.

About Peter Jones

Professor Peter Jones is the Dean of the eHotelier Academy. With a distinguished career in hospitality, education and training, Peter has been involved in national and international projects for clients involved in hospitality education. Peter holds the following directorships; The Edge Hotel School, Wivenhoe House Hotel and Hotel Future, he is a Visiting Professor at the University of Derby and the University of West London and has recently been awarded a Doctor of Science (Hon DSc) from that university. He was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the hospitality industry.