The Future of the Tourism Industry and why the role, done well, is truly an art form.
Just four months since opening, Patina Maldives Fari Islands has already gained recognition from the likes of Travel and Leisure’s Global Vision Awards, Time Magazine’s Greatest Places and Architectural Digest’s Design Awards.
We speak to the resort’s Assistant Front Office Manager, Maain Shahid about his experience being part of the opening Patina Maldives and why championing young local talent is crucial to the industry’s future.
How did you get into the hospitality industry?
I have always wanted to work in hospitality, even at a very young age. With the belief that education is vital to my career development, I pursued my higher education in Singapore and Switzerland, specializing in hospitality management.
After my masters, I joined the management development program and since then have worked at multiple properties in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and now at home - the Maldives.
Earlier this year, I joined Patina Maldives Fari Islands as part of the pre-opening team.
Tell us more about Patina Maldives, Fari Islands.
Patina Maldives, Fari Islands is the first property from the new lifestyle brand Patina Hotels & Resorts, by the acclaimed Capella Hotel Group. Patina Maldives offers 90 contemporary one to three-bedroom Beach and Water Pool Villas, alongside 20 Fari Studios, all of which embody a harmony of sanctuary and stimulation.
Patina is really redefining what your traditional luxury Maldivian resort looks and feels like. Every detail is thought of, whether it is the design, the amenities or the guest programming.
When interacting with the team, you can tell each person was chosen not just because of previous qualifications, yes they were extremely capable in their given role, but also because they weren’t afraid to be creative and do things a little differently. For some of our team members, this is their first step into the hospitality industry and yet they have thrived.
Do you think the industry should be doing more to attract young talent in the Maldives?
Tourism is the biggest economic contributor in the Maldives. We should be doing all we can to attract local youth. There definitely needs to be more awareness on the training and growth opportunities that tourism facilities can provide.
I think we as an industry also need to look at diversity and building gender inclusive teams. At Patina we made conscious decisions in the hiring process to ensure our teams are inclusive. This should be practiced by all operators in the industry.
Hospitality brings the world to you, figuratively and literally. I get to meet and interact with people from all around the world daily. I hope by seeing more local leaders in the industry will encourage our very capable youth to join us and help get tourism in the Maldives to even greater heights.
Is there any particular action you would recommend in helping young people in the industry?
Mentorship. I think receiving personal guidance especially when starting out in any job can make a world of difference.
Mr. Mohamed Ashraf, the General Manager at The Nautilus Maldives and Mr. Bobby Shankar, the Hotel Manager at Conrad Bangkok, played a vital role in my career growth and I still turn to them for advice. I hope to be able to pay it forward by guiding others on their hospitality journeys.