Interview with Simon Casson President Hotel Operations EMEA at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Simon shares his journey within the hospitality industry. The passion of an hotelier who has know many aspects of the industry during his career until leading the brand operations in the EMEA. The whole interview is available in the podcast.
Who are your models and mentors?
"We are all a product of those who chose to invest time in us. They were many for me who gave the power of self movement." [...]
What attracted you in the hospitality industry?
"I was washing dishes in the restaurant and loved the noise and the excitement and atmosphere of the kitchen. [...] I also got a pick into another world and saw people nicely dressed, pulling up in nice cars [...] Somehow the combination of what was here for me in the back and what was in the front spoke to that young boy I was then." [...]
What has been the biggest challenge in your career until now?
"It is a journey continuously defined by challenges. And it is challenge that drives us forward. I have always been driven to move forward because I always asked myself : what could I be doing more?"
"I strongly believe in servant leadership." [...] "You are there to lift people from bellow and help them be the best they can."
People would always assume a certain journey on my behalf so I tell them my story [...] I want them to understand that if you work hard, you will manage. I want them to know that I left home at 15 and didn't go to university."
What is according to you Four Seasons' DNA for hoteliers?
"We have a strong DNA, the company has been going for almost 60 years now."
What are the company goals creating the Four Seasons jet?
"It is really a brand extension.[...] Luxury hotels are one part of the luxury business. [...] We realized we had a unique opportunity to curate experiences on the commercial travel. [...] We curate an experience that they [our customers] could not do without us".
What are the ambitions of Four Seasons in the EMEA region?