SUNBIZ

Priya Sharma Has Come A Long Way

Born in Nadi, Ms Sharma, 33, said hard work where she never shied away from any work given to her has put her where she was today.
09 Feb 2019 17:51
Priya Sharma Has Come A Long Way
Priya Sharma.

Priya Sharma has certainly come a long way in the tour­ism industry considering she has been involved in for the past 14 years.

Her hard work and experience in her field of marketing was recog­nised by the Sheraton group who recently appointed her Cluster Marketing Executive.

Her work involves marketing for Sheraton Fiji Resort, Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay, Sheraton Tokori­ki, Denarau Villas and Westin De­narau Resort and Spa.

About Ms Sharma

Born in Nadi, Ms Sharma, 33, said hard work where she never shied away from any work given to her has put her where she was today.

Coming from a close knit family, the single mother like any other teenager then just wanted to get into the workforce and earn money.

“To be honest when I got a job I took as something that would make me earn some money.

“As I progressed into it I became more passionate about what I was doing and that was customer ser­vice and keeping people happy

“When you come into the tourism industry it is a different environ­ment where everyone is so happy.

“It is not just about keeping the guests happy but keeping up a good relationship with the people you work with.

Challenges

For Ms Sharma, her biggest obsta­cle was coming out of the shyness she had and learning to mix with people and interact more.

“I guess working in the tourism in­dustry brought me out of my shell.

”Imagine I could barely have a conversation with people I didn’t know – I just knew my family and my friends.

“Being exposed to this environ­ment has given me a lot of self-con­fidence.”

Marketing and sales undoubtedly in the tourism industry are rigor­ous exercises considering the num­ber of competitor both at home and abroad.

For most in the tourism industry, and pointed out by the managing director of Rosie Holidays Tony Whitton, service workers or those that work behind scenes are often not appreciated for the tireless work they put in.

“When marketing you don’t just focus on one thing but on every as­pect of the resort you work for.

“Because for every department whatever they are doing or offering is important to them.

“That is the challenge you face because you have to keep everyone happy.

“It’s the kids club, the spa, the restaurants, accommodation and other areas so you have to be on top of your game.

“What is important is keeping a good relationship with the people you work with and this includes ex­ternal suppliers.

“When you are in the tourism in­dustry there is nothing that is too out of its way.”

As for selling Fiji as a tourist des­tination, Ms Sharma said the dif­ferent aspects about the country contributed to it being marketable.

“Every tourist who come here don’t just come here because of the hotels or resorts but because of the friendliness of the Fijian people.

“It has a lot to do with providing service from the heart and genuine smiles of the Fijian people.

Ms Sharma said a good sign was the number of new resorts and hotels that were being built as this would cater for the ever growing tourist arrivals.

“Fiji Airways is doing a fantastic job with its direct flights.

“I am sure in the future there would be more direct flights to new destinations with minimal transit­ing of passengers.

“I think that is one drawback with people coming on holidays, is the amount of time transiting and with direct flights that should reduce that problem.

“This could be seen with more Asian tourists we are getting and that is because of the direct flights.”

Education and work history

After her secondary school educa­tion years at Jasper Williams High School, Sri Vivekanand College and St Thomas High School, Ms Shar­ma completed her Science founda­tion course at the University of the South Pacific.

She then gave birth to a daughter, Ava who is now 13.

She landed a job at Cardos Restau­rant at Denarau Marina where she worked for two weeks before secur­ing employment with the Arts Vil­lage at Pacific Harbour as a front office clerk.

In 2008 she joined Tanoa Skylodge as a night auditor.

In January 2011 she joined Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa as an officer in guest relations, front desk before joining the sales and marketing de­partment.

In that job she was heavily in­volved with site events and dealing with the media, both locally and in­ternationally.

She felt the new environment where she now works will add to shaping her into playing a major role in the continuing growth of the tourism industry.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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