Resort Manager – Kihaa Maldives by Coral Island Resorts
Born in Germany in 64, I spent most of my school years in various other countries. After finishing High School with the diploma in India, later the German system with Abitur in Nigeria, I was conscripted for military service, then jobbed for a year. A three-year apprenticeship in the hotel industry was soon followed by studies in Hotel Management. Job placements in the industry were in Germany, the UK, Tunisia, France and Maldives (since 2007).
How did you get started with your career?
One of my jobs pre-hospitality was as a taxi driver. I tend to believe that set me off towards the hospitality industry. I met people from all walks of life in all kinds of situations. And I noticed that being hospitable would earn you better tips and even repeat guests! Right after I began my apprenticeship in a hotel – while continuing to drive the taxi during off-days.
What are some of your notable successes?
Introducing a number of sustainable practices in properties and playing a role in the forming of Baa Atoll as a Biosphere Reserve. Good reviews and accolades from internet platforms and environmental accreditations many years in a row are always the result of the good team-work in a property.
What are some of the challenges that you have faced?
A severe overbooking event (already in the age of the internet – they used to be easier to resolve before then…), an unannounced (and unjustified) strike by a part of the staff were two major ones – actual “situations”. Unruly colleagues or guests, shortages of supplies, adverse weather conditions are smaller ones, which may happen any day – those are “challenges”. And with a good team, everything is ultimately resolved rather quickly.
What is your experience of TTM? What are you looking forward to in TTM 2018?
TTM ’17 had some interesting presentations and contributions during the Hotelier Summit and the turn-out at the Trade Show was very high and more diverse than anyone had expected. I hope this will be repeated and even be topped at the ’18 edition, making it a great occasion to meet and network with representatives of the hospitality and travel industry.
What is your advice for young adults interested in entering the Tourism Industry?
The Tourism industry is very multi-faceted and offers a vast range of opportunities – even for career changers into and out of it. Most of the time one cannot expect a 9-to-5 job or a five-day-week and will have to make some sacrifices, but the rewards can be very high. My advice would be to come with an open mind, take a look into as many outlets, departments, divisions as possible, take every occasion for skill enhancement and cross training and view every experience as a useful one. That will not only serve to advance career opportunities but also broaden one’s horizon in general.