Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Osuna

Ernesto Osuna

General Manager, Melia Koh Samui

Meliá Koh Samui's General Manager Ernesto Osuna is a seasoned professional with two decades of luxury hospitality experience across Europe, North America and Asia and a track record of exemplary leadership.

Mr Osuna has been a general manager at hotels and resorts in six different countries, and has worked for Meliá Hotels International for seven years. In addition to taking charge of Meliá Koh Samui, Spanish-born Mr. Osuna was a cluster general manager for two Meliá properties in Zhengzhou, China; Gran Melia Zhengzhou and INNSIDE Zhengzhou. He also oversaw the 2015 opening of Meliá Danang in Vietnam after he was the general manager of Meliá Buenavista in Cuba.

Mr Osuna began his hospitality career at the Ritz Hotel in Madrid in 1997 as a room service operator, waiter and then restaurant supervisor. He swiftly rose through the ranks and was appointed to hotel manager and general manager positions at numerous five-star resorts under the likes of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts and The Excellence Collection.

During the challenging times of COVID-19, Mr Osuna has worked to ensure Meliá Koh Samui implements a host of stringent health and safety standards to protect guests and staff in response to the pandemic, as well as retains all of its staff and associates on 100% of their salaries, gives back to the community and focuses on future hotel operations to further enhance the guest experience.

Mr Osuna also believes Meliá Koh Samui is unprecedented for Thailand, thanks to its 1600 square metre lagoon pool that meanders through the resort's grounds like a river, suites made from teak wood merchant vessels that are more than 100 years old, contemporary Thai, Western and Mediterranean fare by an award-winning chef, range of conference facilities and more.

Please visit http://www.melia.com/en/hotels/thailand/koh-samui/melia-koh-samui-beach-resort/index.htm for more information.

Mr. Osuna can be contacted at +66 819340950 or ernesto.osuna@melia.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.