On February 27th we had guest speaker Sergi Mora come to our Ethics and Responsibility class to give a talk about his own personal career inside the tourism industry. He has quite an interesting story with varied experience in different ambits of the hospitality and luxury world.
Starting off as a student, he studied Tourism and Wine before moving on to get his Master’s diploma as a Sommelier. He then began working as a flight attendant for Ryanair, when word came out about his knowledge for wine, he got promoted to working in Premium at Qatar Airlines. It was during this work experience that Mora got his first taste as to what it was like to serve clients on a luxury level and got insights into what were their needs and wants and got to establish what were these client's expectations. It was also during this work experience that he made valuable and high-ranking contacts, as Mora puts its “famous people and sometimes even kings”.
After all these travels Mora came back to Barcelona looking for work and ended up returning to his passion for wine and working as a Sommeiller for the Ritz Carleton Hotel, before eventually being promoted to Head Sommeiller and Head Manager for Majestic Hotels Group.
Majestic Hotels Group currently has 7 hotels operating under their umbrella, and they are divided into two sectors: luxury hotels and boutique hotels. The originating hotel has an interesting story in itself, and was originally bought in 1918 by an Italian family, a year later in 1919 a Catalan family bought the building next door, eventually the two building were merged to create the Majestic Hotel.
Under Mora’s guidance, they were able to gain prestigious accreditations and become part of one of the most desired groups in the Tourism Industry Leading Hotels of the World. This highly exclusive group is known for their exceptional standards in quality and to hold a position with them is quite difficult to maintain as they send a secret guest quite frequently to ensure that all standards are being held. Mora himself acts the hotels own secret guest, testing and making sure that the training of his staff is top notch.
Mora has helped the hotel expand in many other ways, one being their restaurant SOLC, which held a Michelin star before it closed, being reopened and rebranded as a fine dining experience using all fresh and local Catalan produce. Currently their 2019 project is giving all attention to their outdoor terrace.
Thanks to Sergi Moras excellent management skills the hotel currently holds a 70-80% occupancy rate, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the young manager. Mora explained his struggles as having to prove himself and his experience, especially among staff much senior to him and with many more years' experience in the hotel.
He emphasized the importance of not only gaining your employees respect but also tips and tricks when it comes to implementing change. “Focus on the people who are motivated” he said, by focusing on the people who are eager to learn and change, the more reluctant ones will eventually come around and want to become a part of the change as well. Majestic Hotels Group also offers great benefits for their employees such a retirement plan, incentives for high performance, and training programs and workshops when needed.
Mora has been able to transform Majestic Hotels Group and take it into the modern world by creating new social media marketing strategies using influencers and the hashtag Majesticmoments where he features how the hotel goes above and beyond for their clients. In one case, a couple with a little girl had to cut their holiday short as the girl had to spend some time in the emergency room. The girl was then surprised with some sweets and balloons brought personally to the hospital by hotel staff. It´s little things like these that not only keeps their customers loyalty but also instills in them emotion that makes the experience of staying at Majestic Hotels an unforgettable one.
A big thank you to Sergi Mora for sharing his story with our Barcelona Campus students and also for all the insights into what it takes to make it and keep growing within the profession of your choice.