A: So, Rami let’s start with the most classic question of all times. Tell us about your professional journey, how did you end up in luxury tourism?
R: Actually it has started occasionally 3 years ago when I was on holiday in Greece, a good friend of mine who owns the company I work for now, has proposed me the position of the business development manager. As I come from accounting background it helped me a lot to manage the every day processes in the correct way and quickly pass to the General Manager role.
A: Describe us your normal day at work.
R: As a general manager I need to be aware of the processes going on in every department, so my daily routine consists of working on marketing, collection and creating of the basis, lots of follow-up job as well.
In general, customer relationship plays an extremely important role in what we do, it’s crucial to keep the contact and always stay updated.
Most of this routine is usually done on the road, as I have to travel constantly to various locations, checking the potential partner destinations and negotiating. Also we often travel with various hotel representatives in order to manage both sides of the business at the same time.
Our company is also collaborating with Marriott committee for Middle East, so it adds on various negotiations for the higher level clientele.
A: If you weren’t working in tourism where else you could fit?
R: I would love to be a lawyer. I love the challenge of my job, always changing background, the pleasure of closing the deals and contracts. I believe that lawyer job could give me the same challenge.
A: What were the travel trends for 2020 before the COVID-19 situation and how do you think they will change after?
R: I can talk for my market, which is Middle East. Working in this industry for quite some time now I can say that it’s not the most creative and commercial market, with high preference towards mainstream tourist destinations. The most popular locations for high-end tourists are Western Europe and Northern America.
It’s also important to note that even though the market is quite conservative and stable in the choices of holiday destinations each year, the digital revolution has affected it as well.
Instagram and Snapchat are changing the preferences of Eastern tourist quite quickly, making it possible to turn away from the classic destinations and discover new options.
The average traveller has become more price sensitive. People now can easily educate themselves online, decide their own travel itinerary, compare various options and make decisions. So it gets more difficult to base only on the usual packages and is important to constantly innovate.
When it comes to the trends after Covid-19, I don’t think anything will change drastically and the trends I mentioned above will stay quite stable.
Our strategy as a company at the moment is to just wait for situation to change and then come back to normal state, as we believe there is not much depending on us unfortunately.
A: And for conclusion, the question I ask everyone, what do you think is the most important quality for people who want to work in hospitality sector?
R: Be extrovert, like people, be presentable, be driven. Good negotiation skills are crucial. Often we manage the offers that cost millions and in order to keep the track of mostly positive results, great negotiation has to become part of your DNA.