Most of your career has been with luxury properties in Italy. Why luxury and why Italy?
Luxury because it’s hardwired into my character; it’s not a choice for me, it’s part of who I am. Luxury belongs to me at an intimate level. Italy because it’s a fantastic country where luxury plays a major role in shaping our identity, I used to work for many luxury hotels with international affiliation such as The Westin Excelsior in Venice, Hotel Villa Cipriani in Asolo, Hotel Danieli in Venice, The West Excelsior in Florence, Sheraton Park Tower Hotel in London, Prince de Galles in Paris and Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich.
Achieving and maintaining a consistently high customer service is a must in luxury hospitality. What has been your approach in discovering, nurturing and motivating talent?
In young talents, I try to discover and nourish their passion for hospitality. I try to involve them in all the processes, to let them see the big picutre, which always keeps them aware and motivated. Transparency is key.
For many years, destination such as Venice or Florence have been performing exceptionally well, almost ‘by default’. With the ongoing pandemic, what are the key competitive advantages of a luxury property?
Luxury properties can adopt a rigid safety protocol to guarantee the health and well-being of their guests, and have the resources to grant and maintain the highest standards, being as part of an International Group helps in this particular moment.
Which are the biggest challenges generated by uncertainty on the one hand and Covid-19 on the other hand? Which opportunities have you identified?
The Covid-19 situation has indeed forced us to re-think the concept of tourism, lack of predictability, taking into account sustainability and considering new opportunities appeal to new profiles of consumers, with a focus on culture, events, and fashion.
With key feed markets such as the U.S., Latin America, Russia and China completely absent for the time being, which other nationalities do you see as a new potential target?
We are relying heavily on the Italian market; domestic tourism has thus become prominent. Europeans, especially from the neighbouring German-speaking countries have also caught the opportunity to see a different, less-crowded and more accessible Venice
With the pandemic, are HNWI wealthy consumer perceive luxury differently? Do they have different expectations?
HNWI expect a flawless service and are always happy about our personalized offer and our off-the-beaten-track initiatives. They expect very confident briefing of all safety and hygiene measures.
Besides an exceptional service standard, discerning traveller expect a fresh product too.
Absolutely, we always try to keep it interesting by organising new events and by promoting authentic regional experiences. I must also mention that we have been consistently maintaining the high standards of our accommodations.
Looking ahead what are your plans in terms of new offerings, special activities, packages etc?
We organize tailor-made experiences, with a focus on personalised tours, also to the less-known areas of Venice. This is a great moment to discover Venice and the Region.
Recently, you have been appointed President of Confindusria Turismo e Servizi Venezia e Rovigo. Tell us more.
Confindustria Turismo Venezia and Rovigo is a high level association of hotels, tourism and related entities. I am committed to do everything possible not only to relaunch high-quality tourism, but also to extend the duration of the guests’ stay to give them more opportunities to discover our beautiful territory.
My team and I will work assiduously with the institutions and with all the associations to host events, with particular attention to culture, fashion, art, entertainment, and food and wine. We will remain true to our values and will return stronger than before.
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