Name: Melissa Farkas
Position title: Director of Sales, Marketing & Revenue
Company name: InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto
When and why did you join the industry?
Straight from high school, my dream was to be a wedding coordinator which quickly evolved when I found my passion was in hotels.
What do you like most about your job?
It is so dynamic; no day is the same. I am constantly challenged and inspired by the people, travel is highly emotional, and it means that we must be ready for literally anything and everything.
What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
I knew I loved hotels from my first role but becoming a Director of Sales & Marketing before I was 30 was my biggest achievement to date. The hard work, long hours and learning curve paid off.
What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?
My mum taught me that if you have a passion for what you do you won’t see it as stressful just simply a desire to strive for better in whatever you do.
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry?
It really is difficult to pick just one, I have been fortunate to work with some great people in the industry and truly admire anyone that is passionate for the industry. I am truly humbled to be working along side a passionate team; everyone from the barista in the restaurant to the porter at the front door to the General Manager. I am in admiration of every single passionate hotelier, they all motivate me.
What can people expect from your company and what sets it apart from the rest?
It is a truly exciting time for IHG with new brands like voco & Hotel Indigo coming into this market and increased portfolio into Melbourne. This transition will be remarkable at a local level but internationally I am excited about some great global initiatives such as the removal of single use toiletries, which is a very innovative, bold and a current change to really transform our industry.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
Cuba, Canada and Japan
What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)?
I was fortunate to spend a month in Hungary when I was 13 and seeing how different it was from Australia was mind blowing and ignited a passion for travel and exploring new destinations.
What are three things you always take with you when travelling?
Noise cancelling wireless headphones – a must to drain out the plane noise
Make up wipes – to refresh at any time
Sense of adventure – the journey is just as important as the destination
Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and a destination you’d like to go with them.
I would love to travel with Walt Disney and show him how his dream of Disney World has evolved and grown after his passing.
What direction do you see the industry heading in over the next five to ten years?
I am keen to see how technology will impact guest experience. I believe in the long-term, automation will ensure genuine and authentic connections. Less time on administration and tasks and more time with the customer.
Source = InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto