Strategist at work

Currently responsible for 39 hotels in his portfolio and a further 42 on the cards, Alexander Suski, Area Vice President—Sales and Marketing, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, has created a formidable long-term strategy for the MENA region.

Shehara Rizly

Positioning, partnerships and public relations are what drive Alexander Suski, Area Vice President—Sales and Marketing, Millennium Hotels and Resorts. Suski creates and implements sales and marketing strategies, drives market share and profit growth and ensures the brand equity of the property in the MENA region. Looking back, Suski aspired to be a professional basketball player but had to settle for a different professional career in insurance due to injuries. He excelled in the field and by the age of 22, he was leading a team of eight.

Stumbling upon hospitality
A Belgium national, Suski is fluent in Dutch, English and French and holds several industry qualifications. “My first corporate field work was that of an insurance broker where hardcore sales skills were tested and challenged every day. A friend of mine asked me if I could to help him with a commercial rebranding of a hotel. I agreed to support. After two years, I was appointed as Director of Sales and Marketing for Sofitel Brussels Le Louise, and that’s exactly from where the international journey started,” he recalls.

Honoured with achievements
Most notable achievements in Suski’s life started as early as 22 and 25. Today, managing a portfolio of over 30 properties with a further 42 on the cards for the next three years is no easy feat. His vast knowledge on the Middle East and Africa market has been instrumental in driving the group’s ambitious financial growth and expansion plans. With 15 years of marketing and sales experience, Suski joined Millennium Hotels and Resorts from Kempinksi Hotels, where he held the role of Area Director of Sales and Marketing for their Egyptian and Bahrain properties before moving to the UAE as Director of Sales and Marketing at Kempinski Hotel Ajman and Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates. Prior to this, he obtained 9 years of valuable experience in Europe with InterContinental Hotels & Resorts (IHG), Sofitel Luxury Hotels (Accor), Crowne Plaza (IHG) and De Dikke Van Dale (Fletcher Hotels).

Fair share of business for all
With the rise of OTAs and enhanced options over the internet, more platforms now enjoy a piece of business. Suski agrees and mentions, “Studies show that while online travel agencies (OTAs) and Google dominate internet travel searches, travel agents are able to hold onto their booking market share and that they can limit the impact of OTAs by leveraging their strengths, especially the connections they create with their customers. As more online platforms are introduced, there will be an increase in the number of customers using online means and traditional agents should focus also on having their own online platforms or tying up with leading ones.”

Personalisation & guest requirements
With changing guest expectations, hotels should be to able to respond faster to remain relevant in the market. “Increased tech-savvy travellers using mobile apps and websites are expected to be on the rise. This puts more pressure on the hotel industry to ensure that their offerings are user-friendly and up-to-date. Business travellers have more expectations when it comes to high quality tech equipment and a knowledgeable support staff at business meetings and conferences. Wellness is playing an integral role today, where hospitality must amend its offerings to adapt to this trend. F&B concepts are to be revisited to meet the guests’ changing needs as well as spa and gym business approach to offer distinctive wellness programmes,” Suski explains.

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