Industry stalwart Marika Caruana Smith is celebrating four years at the InterContinental Malta, one of the island’s leading luxury hotels based in St. Julian’s, where she occupies the role of Director of Luxury Sales.
The hospitality industry is one which has been hit terribly hard by the pandemic. In her comments to MaltaCEOs.mt Ms Caruana Smith opens up about this matter, however, she chooses to look at this positively and describes it as “a learning curve for the whole industry.”
Speaking of her past 25 years in this field she admits that there have been a lot of changes, predominantly in terms of increased competition and more hotel brands.
She also speaks of how customer expectations have changed, especially now as the sector has moved into post-pandemic mode. Ms Caruana Smith reveals that “now more than ever, travellers’ expectations are higher, therefore, we have to ensure consistency in high quality service whilst going the extra mile to ensure the guests’ satisfaction.”
Another development within the industry is the movement towards “greener, safer and more sustainable tourism through responsible and diverse solutions.” In this regard, the Director expresses her pride in working for an organisation that puts these values at the forefront because in her opinion “that will definitely enhance the guests’ experience and protect [their] brand reputation.”
Having spent the past four years working within the luxury department, Ms Caruana Smith acknowledged that one of the main lessons she learnt in this time is that “luxury is not just a state of mind but core to our beliefs.”
“Hospitality is all about passion, offering a home away from home, making each and every guest feel special, taking note of small details that can change their whole experience. Guests may not remember what you have said to them, but they will surely remember how you made them feel,” she adds.
In her announcement the Director describes hospitality as a “passion” and says that her favourite thing about her job is “the diversity of people I get to meet on a daily basis, the connections I do and the opportunity to get to meet celebrities.”
“My personal satisfaction is the relationships I build and the loyalty I get in return from the guests and clients,” she concludes.
Marika Caruana Smith / LinkedIn
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