Leanne Hucker: a seasoned hotelier with a wealth of well-rounded hospitality experience
Leanne Hucker is the Director of Sales & Marketing at Rosewood Bangkok an ultra-luxury hotel opening in 2019 in the Thailand capital spearheading Rosewood’s continued growth across South East Asia in the heart of Bangkok.
Leanne’s motivation to move abroad to work and live came from a tennis match between Andre Agassi and Roger Federer – a match played on the world's highest tennis court, the helipad of Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai in 2005, which sparked an interest for her to pursue an international adventure and explore working in the Middle East.
Leanne left Australia 11 years ago and since then has developed an immense experience in hotel operations, sales, marketing and distribution,, she has been flying high in the hotel industry respectively in Dubai, Cairo, Phuket and now in Bangkok. She recently spoke to Advance to share her journey.
Interview by Tammy Lee, Marketing & Communications & Digital Manager, Advance.
Can you describe your role and what you do?
I lead the Sales, Marketing and Communication teams for the launch of Rosewood Bangkok. We are responsible for driving revenue across all touchpoints of hotels operations for profit boosting results.
What motivated you to move abroad?
In 2005 I remember watching the footage of Andre Agassi and Roger Federer playing a tennis match on the helipad of the famous icon of Dubai – Burj Al Arab. It was an email being passed around by colleagues and I said, “I am going to work there one day” ! So I set a goal to do just that. Exactly 11 years ago I moved internationally from Australia to Dubai working for the Jumeirah group and Burj Al Arab in Global Sales. My first day at work ended up being on the helipad of Burj Al Arab, I didn’t play tennis but took clients by Helicopter to see Dubai from the air! I have since lived in United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Thailand. I simply moved for adventure, new experience, to challenge oneself and further my career - it has been the cornerstone of my life to say yes to incredible opportunities. My parents where expats in Hong Kong so you could say it is in my blood.
What do you like most about living in Bangkok?
Bangkok is a vibrant city, full of life, great experiences, great friends and is the hub of South East Asia to explore. There is so much to do living here and I am grateful to be able to work in one of my favorite cities and countries.
What's the most and least fun thing about working in hotel management/ hospitality?
I enjoy all elements of hotel management. Meeting incredible people as guests and working with a multicultural team from around the world is a real highlight.
Does your Australian education give you an advantage to pursue a career abroad?
I studied for my Masters of Business via Murdoch University at their Dubai campus. Hospitality is a global career and with a university degree you qualify for the relevant visa requirements to be sponsored to work internationally in senior roles. An Australian degree is highly respected and gave me the foundations to continue to work on the world stage.
What do you miss most about Australia?
Naturally I miss my family and friends, however it is the Australian night sky I miss the most about Australia, there is nothing like seeing the stars at night when you are in the Australian outback.