Name: Arnaud Espasa
Graduation year: 2010
Nationality: French
Program: BBA in Hospitality Management
Current position: Regional Director of Digital Marketing and Ecommerce, Fairmont Resorts Quebec

With digital technology playing an ever more important role in our lives – and especially when it comes to our travel and leisure choices – Class of 2010 BBA graduate Arnaud Espasa has chosen an exciting discipline to make a career in.
French-born Arnaud is today Regional Director of Digital Marketing and Ecommerce for Fairmont Resorts in Quebec, Canada. It marks another bold career step for Arnaud, who has not been afraid to follow his hospitality passions across the world since graduating from Glion.

“I started in Paris, working for the restaurant group run by the three Michelin star chef Yannick Alléno. But then I decided to embark on a journey in hospitality, which began in the United States at the Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square. It was my home from home for nearly two years and I worked as Housekeeping Manager.”

To the Middle East… and marketing

Having gained some useful operational experience, Arnaud set his sights on a career in marketing. For this he headed to the Middle East, to join the marketing team at the Kempinski Grand & Ixir Tower Hotel in Bahrain. He stayed with Kempinski, working at two other properties, culminating in a spell at the 392-room Hotel Mall of the Emirates in Dubai.

“This was probably one of the greatest challenges during my career so far,” he explains. “I joined just after the completion of a $150m renovation, after which the owners’ expectations were naturally very high. This in turn put big pressure on the hotel’s commercial team to deliver results, even though Dubai is a crowded and competitive marketplace. It was a hectic – but rewarding – time.”
Afterwards, Arnaud swapped luxury brands, staying in Dubai to work at Fairmont Dubai, which was Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ first property to be established outside the US. And now he’s in Canada, still with Fairmont, and feeling enriched by his global odyssey.

Cherished insights

“The cultural differences in every part of the world that I’ve worked at, along with the market-specific insights, have tremendously boosted my career and opened a number of doors along the way, which I will forever cherish and remember,” he says.

And what of the digital ‘challenge’ facing the hospitality industry? Arnaud sees the market strength of Fairmont’s parent – Accor – as a big plus in this regard. “Accor is one of the world’s digital hospitality leaders. The company has announced an ambitious digital strategy based on a €225 million 5-year plan, which will further enhance the digital experience of our guests, partners, employees and stakeholders alike.

“I am also really looking forward to working with Accor’s new lifestyle loyalty program ALL, which began rolling out from January 1, 2020. It promises a disruptive and dramatic shift from a regular ‘loyalty program’ into a fully integrated global platform integrating rewards, services and experiences across our entire ecosystem – with its ultimate aim being to bring value to guests’ everyday lives.”
As for Arnaud, he’s loving his career choice; and he had this advice for students as they prepare to forge their own professional paths.
“Come out of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to fail!”

Check out these other insightful Glion alumni stories:

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About the author

Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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