Jesus Perez Bustamante

Cluster General Manager Mercure Maldives Kooddoo & Pullman Maldives Maamutaa 

He started working in the Hospitality Industry because of his passion for the filed. Jesus studied hospitality in his hometown of Burgos, Spain. His first job was as an intern at a hotel in England. With several spells in key resort/hotel properties across Spain, Mexico, Mozambique and overseeing the concept overhaul of Makunudu Island. Jesus, finds himself yet again in the Maldives facing a brand new challenge with Mercure Maldives Kooddoo & Pullman Maldives Maamutaa.

How did you get started with your career?

I started working in the hospitality industry in 1996.  The hospitality industry is quite different here in the Maldives compared to Spain. When you are working as a hotel manager in Spain, you need to take care of everything and you have to be everywhere. As well being involved operationally. Here you have different directors so you do not have to be in charge of everything. I also worked as a Resident Manager in Mexico and it was quite different. It was disappointing to me because I had to spend most of the time at the office. For me, hospitality is being there with the guests and at Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort I get to spend a lot of time with our guests.

What are some of your notable successes?

I have assisted with renovating and changing the concept of Makunudu Island resort. Here at Mercure (Accor), we have achieved 98 in RPS last month. RPS is reputation performance score. What I believe is that you cannot achieve it alone. You need to do it together, with the team. When I check the comments on the internet, all the comments are about the Hospitality. The tourists are coming here because of the hospitality we are providing. The satisfaction for me is giving more than what the tourists expect when they come here for their holiday. For me, this is a huge achievement.

What are some of the challenges that you have faced?

The main challenge I face here is the Manpower and supply. It is not that easy to manage as you need time and it is a long process. Another challenge I face here is training people. Most of the time is it not easy to find people. You should make a plan on how you want to go when you are choosing your career. If you are not happy with it, you can always change. I think the most challenging thing I face with hiring local people is the lack of focus. Currently, we are bringing people as interns from Maammendhoo and training them. We train them in all the departments and let them decide which area they want to focus and grow in.

What is your experience of TTM? What are you looking forward to in TTM 2019? 

I received very good comments from Mr Willem, my colleague. I think we need TTM because it brings the agents to the Maldives, showing them the properties and giving us a direct chance to meet them. They are able to see how the Maldives actually is compared to the pictures. It is good as the operators are can take a look at the places they are selling to their customers. I would like to see operators from bigger markets with a much larger focus on Europeans.

What is your advice for young adults interested in entering the Tourism Industry?

My advice is to focus on what you want to do. Decide whether you want to be in F&B or in another area. You have the chance to become Managers and General Managers. The only way to achieve that is to focus. You need the right people in the right places and teamwork.