Phuketindex.com sat down with Gordon Aeria, the General Manager of Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket in one morning on the year of remembrance when this beautiful resort celebrates its 30 years anniversary. GM Gordon Aeria also has his long history in hotel industry thus a perfect matching for hotel with such leader who came in with right attitude in this very special year. Here is how we knew him.
GM Gordon Aeria is originally from Singapore but now has permanent residence in Australia. He has been here for Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket for about 8 months now. It is his third time living and working in Phuket since his first time 29 years ago.
What motivate you to go into the hotel industry?
My mother started working in hotel industry at the very young age and I can remember myself when I was 14-15 years old going to the hotel regularly and that got me excited to work in a wonderful hotel, to see how things work, to learn how nice it is to meet with different people from different walks of life and to learn the integrity of hotel operations.
What attract you to work in another country?
Living and working, I always from the very young age wanted to travel and the most beautiful part of travelling is to meet with different people, to experience different cultures, to have new discoveries. I lived and worked in several countries in Asia Pacific and I’m very fortunate to have friends from most parts of the world. So it is something I never grow tired of and it’s a joy to meet new people and to learn something new every day.
Did you work on your degree while working in hotel industry?
My background is actually in the military. I was there for 8 years and after that I came back to work in hospitality industry. I worked my way up from the bottom to get to where I am. Along way I took many courses. I attended Cornell University in New York, attended of many post-graduate courses. And through the years I kept myself braced with the latest hospitality trends, technologies, commercial views on hospitality and overall I’m continuing to learn because there are still so much more to learn about this industry.
It is not an easy job you are doing, how you keep yourself motivated?
I always believe that if you love what you do then motivation comes naturally. I’m very fortunate to be in something I truly love and very passionate of.
At work, what put a smile on your face?
When I hear what my guests say about my staff and they are touched by any gesture that my staff do for them that make my day. It brings a smile to my face and that is something I continuously enjoy no matter how difficult my day has been.
What are the most challenging issues you are facing?
This job is required you to be forever active, to be always anticipating, to always be prepared for the unexpected so challenges are nothing new. You go through your day-to-day operations, your day-to-day responsibilities and tasks but you must always be psychologically prepared for the unexpected. And after doing this for more than 25 years, you tend to not be surprised by whatever happens. So I’m pretty well comfortable and well prepared for each day.
What is the single best quality your employee can possess?
For me the single most important asset that I look for in them is attitude. Skills can be taught but attitude comes from the heart. And as long as they have the right attitude and they are very positive then it makes my day. It makes me exited to work with them and I learn from them as much as they are supposed to learn from me.
What advice you would offer to those who are inspired to become successful in hotel industry?
If you want to work in this industry, you must love what you do. You must not treat it as a job but rather treat it as a career. You must be prepared to put in the hours. It’s a very time consuming job but if you love what you do and you love meeting people and finding out new discoveries then continue in this industry. This is also the industry or the career that you can develop and the sky is the limit. If you work hard, you will get your fair rewards.