Managers Abroad: Sharon Fraser

What prompted you to seek work out of New Zealand?
I was attracted by the larger opportunities that exist offshore and that we don’t have in New Zealand: especially in growth and development in the hospitality industry. IHG is the largest international management company in China with 165 hotels and another 100 or so projects planned for the next five years. There’s obviously nothing of that scale in New Zealand or many other countries.
It’s very exciting to be part of the incredible growth here. I enjoy the exposure to so many different cultures and to our guests who are of so many different nationalities.
We’re operating on such large international scale. I also enjoy the competitive challenge in the business, and dealing with so many different sectors including local and international government, the corporate sector, meetings and conference business, and tourists. I’m frequently coordinating and hosting high-level international delegations at the hotel.
I work pretty long hours – usually 12-14 hour days – but it’s great fun and very rewarding. I especially enjoy working with my Chinese staff who are very keen to learn.

How are your experiences overseas shaping your understanding of New Zealand?
My experiences here make me love and value New Zealand even more, and keep me aware of how we need to look after what we have.

How can offshore Kiwis contribute to New Zealand?
I personally try to support using New Zealand food and beverage products in my hotel as much as possible. We only serve New Zealand ice cream: NZ Natural has been huge hit in this city with my guests. People love it. I only have New Zealand dairy products, Anchor butter in my restaurants, and Anchor milk and cream for our chefs to use. New Zealand wines feature on my wine list and in special promotions.

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