The answer, just like in most of other industries, is PEOPLE. Who can tell you better what is hospitality for real, if not the person who works in this business every day facing its beauties, problems and surely changing the world of other people?
So, in order to study this topic deeply I have decided to launch a special category of our blog “The Stars of Hospitality” where I will be interviewing. yes, the stars of hospitality.
Our first guest is young but very ambitious, Perry Petrou, Cluster Marketing Executive of Luxury Collection in London.
A: Perry, tell us about your career path, why did you chose specifically hospitality business?
P: Hospitality was always an industry that I was extremely fond of, been half Greek half Canadian and growing up in Greece it is the field that thrives there. My parents were & still are part of the industry so my influences were very strong. Having my passion for marketing, I wanted to combine both. If you ask any of my colleagues they will tell you that marketing within the luxury hospitality industry is not easy at all, hence why it is so difficult to get into and establish yourself, and I heavily agree on this. From the extreme attention to detail from the tailored communications and epicurean campaigns the list can go on and on.
My plan was very clear from the beginning, I studied Business Management & majored in Marketing at the University of Westminster here in London, I didn’t want to go to any hospitality school as my focus was marketing and only marketing. Once I graduated it was crucial for me to learn the ‘operations’ side of a hotel. I started working at The Ritz Hotel in London, initially in dining reservations, then moved to sales reservations and I ensured I had the appropriate revenue training as well. I ended up being the Signature departmental trainer training all the agents how to reach signature & LQA standards. Something that was very helpful during my time there (and I do recommend it to anybody) is that I was requesting cross training a lot with all the departments (front office, marketing, PR and etc.)
Having that previous experience I wanted to exercise my Marketing skills, and that was when I joined Rocco Forte Hotels. During my time there I was heavily focusing on building and maintaining the Brand Identity of the group whilst engaging solutions upon a CRM basis, all of that of course within a five star standard.
My next step now is at The Luxury Collection of Marriott International where I will be the Cluster Marketing Executive overlooking the marketing activities of the English cluster. The Luxury Collection is at the top tier of Marriott’s International scale of hotels and you will find only the most exquisite & luxurious properties there.
Wellesley Hotel in Knightsbridge, a Luxury Collection Hotel
A: As a Group Marketing Executive and now Cluster Marketing Executive the essence of your job is basically the correct communication. What are your personal hacks of excellent business communication?
P: Being into this industry you shall expect to come across challenging situations and strong personalities. It is essential for good communication to exist and the base of this is to be a good listener. Always keep your composure and try and listen to every single detail and act accordingly. In that way you will learn how to respond & manage strong personalities and adapt within those challenging situations. Also, don’t panic!
A: What do you think is the most important quality for anyone who wants to start working in your field?
P: Patience. It is a very important quality to have on this field. A quality that you shall develop in this fast paced and impatient industry. It will allow you to see and feel circumstances as they are evolving. You will be able to see what has been, and how it has led to what is now, and how it will create what will be in the future. In that way, the quality of your work will have the highest rate of success.