A Day in the Life Of: Layla Zhang, Chinese GRO at Kihaad Resort

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LaylaZhangOur ‘A Day in the Life Of’ series looks at a typical working day for an employee in the Maldivian tourism industry. This week, we  talk to Layla Zhang, who works as a guest relations officer at Kihaad in Baa Atoll. The high number of Chinese guests at the resort means Layla is very handy, she is one of three Chinese GROs at the property. A native of Yang Zhou, a town near Shanghai, China, she is fluent both in both Mandarin and English. Young and easygoing, she is very pleased to be working in the Maldives as she loves the beach and the water.

06:30 – This is usually when I wake up if I have a morning shift. I get myself ready for the day. I try to grab a bite before work, I normally have breakfast around 7.

07:30 – I report to work, sit behind my desk and do the paperwork. Then I interact with the guests, talk to them, informing them of the day’s activities, excursions and such. In my work I have to coordinate with different departments on a regular basis. I also make bookings for guests for their activities.

12:00 – I go have lunch at the staff canteen. I like curries made with coconut cream, and rice and pasta and fruits.

13:00 – I return to work. There’s a high percentage of Chinese guests in the resort so it’s very easy for me to talk to them, find out what they want to do, and help them out if they need. Sometimes a guest might have a complaint. It’s natural, no hotel is perfect. I just listen to them and I never interrupt. And I try to find a solution as quickly as possible. I make sure that guests leave happy after they’ve dealt with me.

16:30 – My shift is over. I get off duty, change and head for a swim near the supply jetty. It’s the best part of my day. I snorkel too. And every time I discover something new. Then I head back to my room, take a shower and relax with a book.

19:00 – I have dinner at the staff canteen. I usually have a cup of tea after the meal.

20:00 – I go back to my room, read a book or watch something online. I sleep quite late usually, around midnight.

Layla says: “Actually, working in a resort is pretty good. You live in a beautiful environment and you meet many kinds of people. People are here on holiday so they’re relaxed. It’s a pleasure to help them, to make their stay even more enjoyable.”