About Michael Ho – Chief Tour Director
From a Chinese family, but raised in Philippines and Canada, Michael began his career by completing a degree in Mechanical Engineering in Calgary, but was soon drawn into the family business when his family opened Calgary’s first Northern Chinese restaurant in 1975, called the “Peking Duck” on 10th Avenue SE (right behind the Calgary Tower). Here, Michael “engineered” dishes such as “ginger beef”, “palace-style chicken” and “palace-style shrimp” – which are mainstays in Calgary’s Chinese restaurants today (although as Michael says, they rarely resemble his original recipe)! As the restaurant grew more demanding and skilled Northern Chinese chefs were hard to find, Michael decided to try his hand in a new industry, travel in 1985.
He began as a partner in an existing travel agency, and soon pioneered his own retail travel agency– which he grew to four outlets within Calgary under the name of Premiere Travel Centre. Seeing a limited future as the popularity of online travel booking began to grow, he sold this business in 2004, and focused on Unique Golf Vacations – a concept he began developing in 2002.
Unique Golf Vacations is near and dear to Michael’s heart, and one that has grown largely by word of mouth. Many of the same people have travelled on numerous tours with Michael, bringing friends along and making new ones.
Michael has visited countless locations around the globe, and uses his knowledge of international hospitality to great advantage. His experience allows him to keenly discern legitimate, safe tour operators and venues from questionable ones, and to ensure excellent value for the travel investment throughout.
Perhaps his most important skill however, his ability to understand people. Michael knows how to group travellers by personality-fit, and make recommendations that suit their preferences. Regardless of destination, travellers consistently comment on Michael’s uncanny ability to account for the “personality factor,” and make them feel happy and safe throughout their vacation experience.
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