David Mohren, the General Manager of Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Center, who has extensive experience in the hospitality industry in different countries, is convinced that despite the current situation in the world caused by COVID-19, this industry will recover faster than any other. Nevertheless, it is extremely important to quickly adapt to the changing reality, constantly monitor new guest behaviour trends, and respond to them as quickly as possible.
LDaily: How did you launch your career? What was your last position and what are you exactly responsible for in Kyiv right now?
D. Mohren: Well, I always liked to work and communicate with different people. Hospitality is ‘people’ business. So, it was very clear that this was what I wanted to do.
I started in 1998 as a Front Office Agent and got my first General Manager Position in 2010. I think it is very important to learn your business from the basics as this will help you a lot lead your teams in the future, especially during difficult periods. Before moving to Kyiv, I have been working in Sochi, Russia as the General Manager of the Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Centre, 508 Rooms and 10 000 m2 Conference space.
However, since I used to work in Ukraine before, I was always looking forward to returning to Kyiv as I really like the city and my wife is from Kyiv.
I am very happy to lead the Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre as the General Manager and to represent the Radisson Hotel Group as the City Director for Kyiv. We have another Radisson Blu in Podil and a very nice Park Inn by Radisson next to the NSC Olimpiyskiy.
LDaily: What are the advantages and disadvantages of hospitality in Ukraine?
D. Mohren: I am sure you can find disadvantages in any industry in the current situation but I am always more focused on the positive things.
Those who adapt to the new reality the fastest will be successful in the future. We always try to be a little bit ahead of our competitors.
Yes, we are going through a very challenging period at the moment but things will improve again in the future. I am even quite certain that our industry will recover faster than others as people will still travel again, either for business or for leisure. My wife and I are looking forward to travelling again and we know many people who think exactly the same way.
LDaily: How did Radisson Blu Hotel Kyiv City Centre survive a severe lockdown? Have you cut jobs? What measures have been taken in your hotels in the fight against coronavirus?
D. Mohren: As I have mentioned already, we have really suffered a lot but thanks to our owning company, we have been able to keep the majority of our employees even though we have not made any revenue for several months. Here, at the Radisson Hotel Group, we have established a 20 Steps Safety Protocol as well as a 10 Steps Protocol, especially for the meeting and events area.
One of our highest priorities is the health, safety, and security of our guests, team members, and business partners. COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we live, and we are adjusting our daily operations to fit within the new normal. In response to this, together with a team of experts, we have reviewed our existing health and safety processes and developed a new safety protocol. This in-depth cleanliness and disinfection protocol was created in partnership with SGS and is designed to ensure your safety and peace of mind from check-in to check-out.
LDaily: How will COVID-19 change hospitality in Ukraine?
D. Mohren: I am quite sure that international hotels have an advantage compared to the local hotels as the customers will have more trust in our Safety & Security Procedures. I am very certain that many local & small hotels will disappear as they will not survive the current challenges, which I personally think is a shame. There is unfortunately not enough financial help available, especially for all those small & private business owners.
LDaily: What are your goals in terms of managing Radisson Blu Hotel Kyiv City Centre for the coming year and how do you see the performance of the other two Radisson Hotel Group Properties in Kyiv?
D. Mohren: Well, the next 1.5 years will be very tough for everyone and we have to be very flexible in everything that we do. We identify new guest behaviour trends every day and try to adapt as much & as quick as possible.
We have a huge advantage that we, the Radisson Hotel Group, are a very well-known management company with huge experience in Eastern Europe.
With our current three Hotels in Kyiv and a fourth one coming in 2022, we are offering a great variety for different travellers. We will continue going above and beyond to exceed guest expectations by providing exceptional hospitality.
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