Name: Tomas Longa
Graduation: September 2018
Nationality: Czech
Program: Master of Business Administration in International Hospitality and Service Industries Management
Current position: General Manager Moscow Marriott Imperial Plaza

Glion Master’s graduate Tomas Longa loves a challenge, in fact he sees the hotel industry as one big challenge, from managing expectations and responsibilities, to keeping an eye on innovation. We caught up with him to hear about his career before and after graduation, and his love for hotel openings.

“My graduation at Glion was coming at the same time when I was finishing my previous assignment for a company that I had been working with for 15 years”, he says.

“It was at this stage when I was approached with the offer to be involved with the opening of the Moscow Marriott Imperial Plaza. I have been involved in five hotel openings during my career so far and every person who has been involved in a hotel opening can confirm, it is a very special moment.”

“The stress, pressure, time management and all other factors are completely different to ‘regular’ hotel operation. So, I would say, every hotel opening is a highlight itself.”

“Directly involved in decisions of the project”

Tomas’ current opening is asking more of him than any he’s done before, as he explains. “My current project is slightly different, I joined an extremely professional team of architects, designers and builders at the stage where I was directly involved in some decisions of the project.

“We are about to deliver the most beautiful and luxurious Marriott in Moscow so far, with 268 rooms and suites and an absolutely stunning banqueting venue with state-of-the-art equipment. I am sure my biggest career highlight is coming in next few months!”

“What have we really done to be different and try new things?”

When every day poses challenges that test your knowledge, ability and soft skills – learning and self-improvement is a daily outcome. For Tomas, working in hospitality keeps him focused on delivering professionalism and innovation in everything he does.

“The hotel business is one big challenge. You are constantly under some kind of pressure, whether that be from the investors to achieve expected financial results, from brands to reach the percentage levels of your audits, or from your guests, and you always have to manage it with a smile on your face.”

“For some other challenges, we are responsible ourselves. We have a tendency to blame a competition like Airbnb for coming up with something new, but what have we really done to be different and try new things?

“Anthony Bourdain, one of the most amazing people who we had on this planet, once said ‘Without new ideas, success can become stale.’ We, as an industry need to be very careful not to reach that point.”

Always learning

The legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts”, something that Tomas echoed when we asked him to share his advice for those at the start of their hospitality career. “When I was young I knew everything, the older I get I am realizing that there are still so many things I don’t know.”

Thank you to Tomas for taking the time to share his career and insight. We wish him continued success with the Moscow opening and all his future challenges!

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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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