Life in COVID-19 Times with Karen Macmillan of the Hong Kong Tourist Board – Travel Weekly


This week, Weekly trip caught up with the Hong Kong Tourist Board recently appointed Regional Sales Manager Karen Macmillan to find out how she has been doing since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are you reading?

I started an MBA earlier this year so I mostly read textbooks! Now that I have started on the Hong Kong Tourism Board, I spend a lot of time reading emails, documents, briefs and proposals. I don’t have a lot of free time to read for leisure.

What are you looking at?

Lots of different shows with different members of my family – I think I must have a subscription for every streaming service available! Ted lasso, Succession, Morning wars, Clarkson’s farm and frayed, Just to name a few.

What are you listening to?

I tend to listen to a lot of different podcasts, and recently started listening to audiobooks because I don’t have time to read. Also, music to relax (but usually I listen to whatever my boys play in the home gym).

What are you cooking

I really liked having time to cook again. I started experimenting with cuisines from all over the world on my family so we could pretend we were on vacation. I am happy to say that I have finally mastered my Chinese style roast pork belly – my sister just gave me an air fryer and it has changed my life!

How do you stay in shape physically and mentally?

I did a lot of walking, biking, and training in the makeshift home gym to stay in shape both physically and mentally. Catching up with friends virtually has also been a great way to stay sane.

What is the positive thing that you have witnessed or experienced since the coronavirus hit?

I had the chance to spend time reconnecting with friends from everywhere (virtually, of course) and to spend some quality time with my family.

Witnessing the general friendliness of the people and watching the communities come together to care for each other has been amazing to see. Hopefully those positive traits stick around as restrictions ease.

What did you learn about yourself during the crisis?

That I am a very good multitasking and that I have to take care of it.

What advice do you give to other industry players to deal with the crisis?

Stay connected with your friends, colleagues, stakeholders and industry partners, and know that you are not alone. It’s been a tough 20 months, and now that the overseas travel ban is lifted and the restrictions are starting to ease, I hope everyone can see the light at the end of the tunnel and start s ‘have fun!

What is your favorite domestic travel destination?

The Snow Capped Mountains. We usually go snow twice a year and always have a good time, and the scenery is spectacular.

What is the only memory of international travel that brings you to this period?

There is a couple. We had a family reunion with my Scottish parents in Bali in January 2019 – there were around 20 of us and it was a lovely holiday full of love and laughter. I also convinced my mom, sister and her family to join us on an Alaska cruise in October 2019. It was such a fun trip with great experiences, and my mom is so grateful that she was able to tick Alaska. on his bucket list.

Where do you want to travel once international travel restrictions ease?

All over! But first my family and I will be heading back to the UK to see relatives and hopefully ski in Europe, with a stopover in Hong Kong.

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