Inspirational Maldivian Resort Manager
25 November 2016
Founded in 1979, Kaimoo Travels and Hotel Services Pvt Ltd is a leading tourism company in the Maldives. The name Kai-moo is derived from its founders Kandi Ahmed Ismail and Moomina Haleem. In Male’ Kaimoo Travels and Hotel Service Pvt Ltd has a chain of luxury star class hotels including, Mookai hotel, Kai Lodge and Kam hotel. Maldives has topped as having the best island resorts in the world. Today the Kaimoo has three star class resorts in the Maldives. The star class resorts such as Embudu Village Resort, Maldives, Equator Village Maldives and Summer Island Maldives are being recognized as among the best oldest resorts in the Maldives.
Photo: (l-r) Shauna Aminath Consultant Kaimoo Hotels, Srimal Fernando and Mariya Shareef Resort Manager.
Summer Island Maldives is one of the country’s first resorts, and is owned by a Maldivian family. There are very few Maldivian female Resort Managers in the hospitality industry in the Maldives, but Mariya Shareef is one of them. She is the only woman to ever hold a Resort Manager’s post at Kaimoo Travels and Hotel Services Pvt Ltd Maldives. Shareef’s career spans 14 years in the hospitality, leisure sector in the country. Visiting the Summer Island Maldives, the Global Editor for the Diplomatic Society Srimal Fernando spoke exclusively to Mariya Shareef Resort Manager Summer Island Maldives.
Summer Island Maldives
Srimal Fernando (SF): Please give us a brief background about yourself.
Mariya Shareef (MS): I began my career in hospitality, leisure and tourism, at a young age. I choose to study abroad for a two year Diploma in Tourism & Hospitality Management in Malaysia. I started my career at Bandos Island Resort & Spa as an Assistant Pastry Chef. In year 2000 I started pursuing an undergraduate degree in Tourism & Hospitality Management at Taylors College.
I came back to work as a Front Office Executive at the Hilton Maldives Resort. Later I was interested in Sales and worked at Crown & Champa Resorts. David was one of my mentors. After completing my Master’s degree in marketing at Oxford Brookes University I worked as a marketing PR Manager at Lily beach resort & spa for three years. This is my fourth year at Kaimoo Travels and Hotel Services Pvt Ltd. I am currently the Resort Manager of the Summer Island Maldives.
SF: How would you describe your management style?
MS: I am a field and staff oriented person. My management style is situational and is strongly influenced by my staff. I join the staff and want to be around.
SF: Tell us about Summer Island Maldives?
MS: The four star Summer Island Maldives is closely situated in North Male Atoll in Maldives .This resort was earlier known as Summer Island Village Hotel. Today Summer Island Maldives is a eco-friendly, 4 star hotel island resort that has 156 rooms in several different styles. There are 20 water villas, a pool and two restaurants. The Villas are with glass bottoms. When I joined the Resort there were plans to develop and upgrade the resort into an all-inclusive resort island to compete with other resorts and hotels operating in the Maldives. Even though the Resort had been upgraded we have maintained the Village concept. The resort has adopted environmentally friendliness and the resort was upgraded from three stars to four stars. The resort has loyal following of repeat guests. There are many German guests visiting our resort.
SF: How is Summer Island Maldives different from other resorts operating in the Maldives?
MS: Our resort and its employees with twenty six years of history make a difference in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sector in the Maldives.
SF: What are the core values of Summer Island Maldives that your guests can relate to?
MS: The 215 staff at this resort are remarkable. Loyal following of repeat guests relates to staff at Summer Island Maldives.
SF: What is the annual occupancy rate of your resort? Can you give us a breakdown of guest visiting the resort?
MS: In 2015, the Summer Island Maldives occupancy rate was at 70 percent. We hope to take it up to 80 percent by 2016. Of the many guests at Summer Island Maldives, majority are from European countries, mostly from Germany. As speculated the visitors from UK are increasing. Almost one third of guests visiting Summer Island are from Asia. It also reflects that the guest from Asia are from Japan and Korea.
SF: Are there any new and exciting offers coming soon?
MS: There are special offers for next summer in 2017
SF: What do you think about the hospitality industry in the Maldives?
MS: Tourism is the main industry in the Maldives .You need to have a clear understanding and must be specific. The good news is that in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sector in the Maldives it is a job worth doing.