José María Graven Maldonado – Sales Manager at Hotel Riu Palace Maldivas

José María Graven Maldonado is the Sales Manager at Hotel Riu Palace Maldivas. He was born in Spain and started his career in Dublin as a Management Trainee.

After the Management trainee program, José was selected by RIU for their RIU Talent program and continued his training at Dominican Republic for a few months before moving to Mauritius in 2019 as the Assistant Revenue Manager of the destination.

What made you choose hospitality as a profession and tell us about how you started your career?

It was during my management trainee in Dublin when I knew that I wanted to be part of the tourism industry and specially in the Commercial department since I loved the daily contact with direct clients, agencies, TTOO’s, etc. I started doing a management trainee focused in all the areas (Commercial, front desk, F&B, etc.)

Tell us about RIU Hotels and what differentiates RIU from other properties in the Maldives.

We are a company with nearly 100 hotels located in 19 countries with a loyal clientele and a product based on the exclusive customer service and satisfaction at its best. In Maldives, we have a well-defined and consolidated product in the Company. It’s our 24 hours all-inclusive where our guests feel quite comfortable with all the services that we provide. We offer a very attractive package where the guests do not have to pay anything extra during their holiday. This is what differentiates us from all the other properties in the Maldives.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced in your career in the Maldives?

I arrived during the reopening after the COVID-19 outbreak in September 2020 and I must say that it wasn’t an easy situation for all of us. Everything changed from one day to the next and we had to adapt as quickly as possible (New restrictions, travel bans, variants, protocols, etc.) Luckily, it seems that all this is gradually falling behind

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement in your career?

The fact of became the Sales Manager of Riu in a wonderful destination as The Maldives, I consider it a huge achievement

What are your thoughts on how the Tourism Industry in the Maldives is changing? 

We can consider that Maldives with its measures is doing everything in order to attract as much tourists as possible and this is something that we should celebrate. It’s easy to check this if we compare the figures and markets on 2019 with the current ones or the ones that we had on 2021. They are completely different and this speaks very well about the country’s ability to adapt to the circumstances

Is there anything else you would like to highlight?

We trust that Maldives keeps betting and pushing strongly for the tourism and that they keep applying measures and improvements (infrastructures, airport, etc.) in order to maintain this level and provide the best service possible to the tourists that decide to invest their savings in visiting us