WTG! Rubric – #MeettheWinner Sheraton Batumi Hotel
- Apostolos could you please tell us more about yourself? What was your motivation/Inspiration to start your career in hospitality? Tell us the story of your professional road.
My name is Apostolos Papatolios. I have 25-year experience in this field in Europe and Middle East, previously work in Inter Continental, Marriott, Le Meridien and so on. I am General Manager of Sheraton Batumi Hotel since 2016.
Hospitality business is all about diversity, communication and opportunity. Working in a hotel requires you to work in a multi-cultural environment, dealing with guests from diverse background that highly develops your interpersonal and communication skills. Hospitality business also gives you a room to grow allowing you to develop yourself as a professional as well as a person. Not only do you improve on the professional skills that you already possess, but with time and commitment to your work you are gaining ability of sharing your experience with others and creating a healthy environment in your workplace where there is an integrity among colleagues of different race, age, gender or cultural background. There are some challenging situations that might put you to the test but each such situation brings you to a point when you are more confident and a better leader.
- What are the challenges facing your company?
One of the challenges is the rapid growth in the sector, which means more competition. While on one hand that factor might be considered as a main challenge that we face as a hotel, at the same time it is a great motivation as well. Competition does motivate to do our utmost to be distinguished from our rivals, always have pulse on our potential guests’ demand and exceed their expectations with diverse offerings, gracious internal design, state-to-art modern technology, various facilities, high quality service and a pleasant ambiance that is created by our well-trained, highly experienced and extremely genuine staff. While finding the experienced staff is also kind of challenge we manage to overcome it by finding brilliant talents who are hard-working and willing to learn and with appropriate access to all recourses for development and relevant trainings after a while from inexperienced newbies we are having professional individuals whose efforts are main reason of our success.
- Tell us about your future plans?
We are aiming to hire and train many more associates and keep our service levels high while increasing our offerings and packages to suit more guests. We also do plan to be aligned with technological novelties, like having mobile check-in options for our guests. Besides, we will continue to be socially responsible company and have many plans in that term as well. We are always presented in international and local tourism fairs to promote Batumi and our magnificent property; we will continue to work towards that coming years.
- How would you assess tourism and hospitality industry of Georgia as a tourist?
Georgia is a magnificent country with unique culture, history and natural beauty. It is famous for its hospitality, diverse food offerings and exclusive wines. Batumi is a small but exceptional and very interesting city of Georgia which has a great potential of tourism development first of all thanks to its geographical location, good climate, diverse cousin, Seaside Boulevard and city parks, Delphinarium and breathtaking Botanical Garden and what is most important due to its cultured, literate, welcoming and extremely hospitable population. With the support of local and central government this charming city is developing dynamically and its tourism market is rapidly expanding. With the improved infrastructure, better roads, dependable power, good communication system, newly opened restaurants and branded hotels Batumi gradually becomes more and more attractive for foreign investors and tourists and I am sure very soon it will be the main tourism destination in the Black Sea Coast.
- What was your motivation to take a part in National Tourism Award Project and what does it mean to be a winner?
From us it was a matter of prestige to take in such an important project. This award means the recognition of our hotel as an accommodation mean that delivers exceptional service and facilities to its guests and showcase this to other frequent travelers. It is also a good way to motivate our staff who work hard to achieve this success and truly deserved to me recognized.