HSMAI Region Europe Profile: Michael Simon from Marriott International

Michael Simon
General Manager Distribution, EMEA & APAC
Marriott International

Michael is the newly elected Chair of the HSMAI Region Europe Sales Executive Advisory Board. He is very active within HSMAI Region Europe both in the Advisory Board as well as a speaker and advisor on many HSMAI Region Europe events, including activities in Germany.

Q: What does a day at work consist of for you?

A: Customers, Conference Calls, E-Mails, Meetings… When in the office and due to time zones, my day usually starts with calls with Asia – lately mostly China – in the morning, moves on to the Middle East, and then to US when they are up from 2pm onwards. Being a single parent, I try to get out of the office relatively on time to spend time with my teenage son.

Q: What’s the best part of your job?

A: Distribution is a dynamic segment that impacts all parts of the hotel business.

Q: Do you have anyone you’ve looked up to?

A: My parents.

Q: Do you have any nice traditions at your office?

A: I’m afraid, with the travelling to Asia, Middle East and the US, I am hardly there… 

Q: How long have you been a member of HSMAI?

A: I have been a member of HSMAI Region Europe since 2014, and a member of the HSMAI Region Europe Sales Executive Advisory Board since the start of its operation in 2015.

Q: What do you think is the best thing about HSMAI?

A: I think HSMAI Region Europe is a great platform for Education and Networking within the Hospitality Industry. Being a pan-European association it brings together industry experts with diverse backgrounds on all disciplines in Hospitality.

Q: Are there any activities or projects you think HSMAI should start up?

A: HSMAI Region Europe has grown rapidly in the past couple of years and has successfully started activities in many new markets in Europe. Now I look forward to the many educational programmes and initiatives under development.

Q: Describe your perfect weekend.

A: Quality time with my children.

Q: If you were trapped on a desert island, what would you take with you, if you could choose one thing?

A: Satellite telephone or more realistically a knife or axe.

Q: What is the title of the book about your life?

A: Life is a journey not a destination. 

Q: What is your next travel-destination?

A: Besides the usual business travel with Marriott, actually a couple of my latest trips have been to attend HSMAI meetings and events with the Distribution & Marketing Strategy Conference in Stockholm and the HSMAI Region Europe Sales Executive Advisory Board meeting and Connect with HSMAI event in Frankfurt. Next I will travel to Paris.

Q: Do you have any special hobbies?

A: I used to play European handball and still like watching the game, but my favourite activity has become downhill skiing.

Q: Thank you for your time. Do you have any personal comments?

A: I would like to thank the HSMAI Region Europe team and the HSMAI Region Europe Sales Executive Advisory Board for their trust and support. The Hospitality Industry is constantly changing and the Sales discipline in a dramatic transition at the moment. Therefore this is an exciting time to chair the Sales Executive Advisory Board. I believe that the combination of Juliet Howie and myself, of Sales and Distribution, fits perfectly to the dynamic environment of the industry. I look forward to working together with this group of renowned experts in the industry in order to find topics and solutions to induce the Sales talent of the future. With an international reach, HSMAI Region Europe is the perfect platform to bring that knowledge and support to the Sales force in the field.

Photo: Michael Simon, General Manager Distribution EMEA & APAC, Marriott International