Mr.Trevor May – Hotel General Manager of Le Méridien Khao Lak Resort & Spa who living in Thailand for almost two decades. He will share his opinion about the hospitality industry and show how this luxury hotel, Le Méridien Khao Lak Resort & Spa is special.
What motivated you to go into the hotel industry?
I moved into the hotel industry by default, my background is in finance and I was looking and started in the hotel as a default to earn money and here I am 30 years later still looking for the right job.
Who inspires you and why?
Who or what inspires me, is a hotel being successful at Marriott. We have balanced scorecards or KPIs and the team coming up with game changes each year and seeing how these game changes make a positive impact on the hotel.
What were your career steps before becoming the General Manager of Le Méridien Khao Lak Resort & Spa?
I started my career with Marriott in 1992 as the assistant financial controller at the Surfers Paradise Marriott and I was given an opportunity to also work in sales and marketing and oversea reservations and revenue management team.
From there, I moved to Sydney as the Director of Financial at the Sydney Marriott and in 1999 I moved to Thailand in a financial role at Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa.
And from there, I have had my first opportunity working in Phuket at JW Marriott Phuket as the director of finance for the property and I continued that until 2014 in a different financial role in Thailand. And I took my first general manager’s position at the Rayong Marriott and then in 2016 was appointed as a general manager at Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa Merlin Beach and here I am in Le Méridien Khao Lak now plus the general manager overseeing both hotels.
What is essential for you to be successful as a General Manager? What are the key points?
Key Points of being a successful general manager is having a great team. And a great team that’s focused on what we need to provide an experience for our guests. Our guests choose our hotels because of the experience we’re providing which include the service and the product of resort or hotel.
What is your favorite part about working in the hotel business?
My favorite part about working in the hotel is no two days are the same. Our hotel operates 365 days a year or in 24 hours a day and every day we have new guests and everything is different, all reset every day and it’s just exciting.
At work, what puts a smile on your face?
What puts a smile on my face is having happy guests and seeing my associates or my team members be successful in their jobs.
How do you stay up to date with trends or regulations in the industry?
I’m lucky, I worked for Marriott hotels and we have a lot of great people working at our regional offices, head officers who are rolling new training programs and new ideas and new initiatives every year. It’s a constant shining, that’s one of the beauties working for the company.
Which are the main differences between hospitality in Western and Asian countries?
I have worked in Australia for 20 years so that’s a hard one to answer but people tell me in Asia serve a standard what’s important and that’s what people come to Asia for and when you’re working in the West it’s more about productivity and being efficient.
What do you think, will be the biggest challenge hotel companies will face within the next ten years?
It’s going to be keeping up with technology if you go back ten years ago hotels were very rock slowly rolling out the internet and didn’t consider having internet in hotels important whereas now it’s become essential as having breakfast in a restaurant or a TV in a guest room or a bathroom in a hotel so that’s keeping the technology and what where that goes and how we sell our hotels and what guests are looking for.
And the second area that’s going to be challenging going forward is the new generations and the millennial. The millennial looking for a new job and looking to get promoted every six months so just being able to satisfy and keeping associates working for you is going to be challenged over the next ten years.
What advice would you give to someone looking to follow your footsteps?
Hotels are a lot of hard work, we’re operated 365 days in a year and we’re open 24 hours a day so when you’re a general manager of the hotel you’re literally working even though you maybe not at work.
You’re working 24 hours a day seven days a week and you have to be prepared a person that your lifestyle is not a nine-to-five job you grow your career but it’s going to take flexibility and be able to spend time in the work environment.
Tell us about Le Méridien Khao Lak Resort & Spa
That’s unique about this hotel, Le Méridien Khao Lak Resort & Spa has a bird sanctuary we have unlock art programs and we’re new to the marketplace. It’s a new hotel we’ve got a great product and a great team that is going to provide a great experience for our guests.