Sep 102015

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR.

Aberdeen, Tuesday 10th March 2015 Thistle Altens Hotel Aberdeen (Picture by Michal Wachucik/Newsline Media Ltd)

Gabor Petia (33), reception manager at The Aberdeen Skyways Hotel.

A reception manager at one of Aberdeen’s top hotels has recently returned from a prestigious scholarship in Switzerland.

Gabor Petia (33), reception manager at The Aberdeen Skyways Hotel, attended a week-long course on leadership in the workplace as part of the Hospitality Industry Training (HIT) Scotland Scholarship at the École Hotelière Lausanne in Switzerland.

Originally from Hungary, Gabor was one of just 14 scholars selected for the week long programme that focused on leadership and management in the hospitality sector.

Gabor explains,

“The whole HIT Scotland experience was incredible and I was honoured to be a part of it.

“I met a number of inspiring individuals and there was a great sense of camaraderie throughout the week. In the evenings we were able to relax and enjoy each other’s company, like a sort of working holiday.”

Throughout the scholarship, Gabor learned a number of skills that will help him become a more effective manager in his post at The Aberdeen Skyways Hotel, including how to motivate his team to perform to the best of their abilities.

He says,

“The most important thing I learned on the scholarship was that being a manager and being a leader are two very different things. A manager is focusing on tasks and schedules, but a leader’s main focus is people.

“I often meet with individuals in the industry who work in hospitality just to pay the bills and have absolutely no passion. I believe that the hospitality industry has no place for this attitude as it has an immediate impact on the level of service.

“The experience reaffirmed my belief that it’s not a mistake to aim for perfection. Striving towards a 100% success rate can bring out the best in a team and encourage teamwork.

“Luckily, our reception team already performs very well, but there’s always room for improvement. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences so that we continue to focus on the guests, their individual needs, and ways in which to give them a unique experience.”

Gabor also realised that sometimes the biggest hindrance in any professional’s work is their own outlook, and that it can be important to step back and re-evaluate one’s priorities in the workplace.

He says,

“The daily pressure at work can mean we sometimes forget the bigger picture. We can focus so much on resolving the issues directly in front of us that it can hold us back from delivering the level of service we are capable of.

“Getting away from daily routines and receiving professional tutoring in how to excel in hospitality is a fantastic experience, and a real motivator to perform well. It reminded me why I entered into the hospitality industry in the first place.”

Gabor, who has worked at The Aberdeen Skyways Hotel since 2011, has long been a valued member of the team. General manager, Alison Christie says,

“Since Gabor returned from his HIT Scotland Scholarship he has been re-energised and really focused on improving the customer experience, putting into place his learnings as soon as he stepped back through the door.

“Being awarded a scholarship is a really fantastic achievement, and we were thrilled that Gabor was selected earlier this year. He is a credit to the hotel, and we look forward to working with him for many more years to come.”

The Aberdeen Skyway Hotel is part of The Hotel Collection, which has two other venues in the city – The Aberdeen Altens Hotel and The Caledonian Hotel. There are 446 bedrooms across the three venues, and each has conferencing and banqueting facilities. The Aberdeen Altens Hotel also has a health and leisure club. Further information is available at

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