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  • Writer's pictureMicaela Giacobbe

A History of the Hotel Sina Brufani, Perugia.

We are delighted to be partnering up with Hotel Sina Brufani for Journeys in Italy event in Perugia, Umbria as the host hotel. for the event

We interviewed the General Manager, Stefano Chiesa so you can get to learn a little more about how Hotel Sina Brufani came to be and Stefano's thoughts on the industry. Here is the interview, Happy reading!

1. Who are you and what do you do?

I am Stefano Chiesa and I am proud to be the General Manager of the Hotel Sina Brufani in Perugia, a member of SINA HOTELS, which is one of the most essential Italian hotels brand, family-owned.

2. Could you give us an overview of your professional background?

Since I was a child, I used to go with my mother to work as a waiter in a restaurant/pizzeria in Perugia.

I continued to work as a waiter during summer during my adolescence and my study at University, to be financially independent. I attended the hotel/restaurant school and then I got a Master's in Hospitality Management. I then went to London to improve my English and, at the same time, to work in a luxury hotel (Whites Hotel in Bayswater Road, part of "Thistle Hotels").

I worked there for two years, starting as a waiter and then I attended a Management Training Program within the company, which gave me the opportunity to work in all the hotel's departments.

When I returned to Italy, I worked as a receptionist in a Holiday Inn hotel in Umbria. Then I was appointed Assistant General Manager at the Grand Hotel Assisi where, after two years I became General Manager.

After about 4 years I needed a new challenge and I had the great opportunity to be appointed Room Division Manager of the Forte Village Resort in Sardinia, which is an icon in the world hospitality industry. This was the experience that radically changed my background and gave me the opportunity to improve my skills in luxury hospitality.

3. How did you arrive at your company?

I was in Sardinia at Forte Village, but when my first son Lorenzo was born I felt the need to go back to Umbria and live near my and my wife's families in Umbria. So our family went to live in Spello (my wife's town) and I was appointed General Manager at Hotel Sina Bernini Bristol in Rome.

I used to live in the hotel during the week and went back home at weekends. After one year our President, Dr. Bernabò Bocca, asked me to move to Florence at Sina Villa Medici, where I worked for two years. In March 2009, I joined hotel Sina Brufani in Perugia.

4. Give us an overview of your current business?

Hotel Sina Brufani is a historical hotel with a long tradition in the hospitality industry and it is the only luxury hotel in town. Our main types of businesses are leisure travellers, business travellers and conferences. Our main markets are Italy, the U.S.A., the UK, Europe, Canada, Asia, South America, etc…

5. How are you intending to evolve your offerings over the short and long term?

We continue to update and upgrade our hotel and services, trying to keep the right balance between the classic style and the history of the hotel with the new technologies and new services, which our guests require.

6. What are your customers telling you about the marketplace?

Honestly, today the marketplace is totally different from pre-Covid. This year there was an explosion in the market, which is much appreciated but at the same time is something quite extraordinary, in particular about hotels and flight rates. I see rates that I have never seen before, which is confirmed in my conversations with buyers. I am happy about that, but I wonder how long it can last.

7. What trends are you seeing in the market?

As everybody can see, there is a strong demand from the U.S.A., but the overseas market, in general, is doing very well. China and the Asian markets in general are starting to travel again and there are big expectations for next year.

8. What challenges do you perceive for the wider industry?

The main challenge for the tourism industry is to pursue sustainable and reasonable development. I see destinations that have long since exceeded the limit of sustainability and it has become extremely urgent to take measures to contain overtourism.

I went to the Dolomites last January and when I arrived (in the evening at 07,00 p.m.) the temperature was 7 degrees Celsius, which is absolutely not good. it is believed that in 20 years the sport of skiing will no longer be feasible, except with artificial installations. I could do many more examples.

9. Could you give us a notable highlight or achievement that you’re particularly proud of?

I am proud of my hotel team and of what we have done so far. It is not easy to manage a luxury hotel in a destination (region and city) which are not well known as a tourist destination and even less as a luxury destination.

10. What advice do you have for those starting out in the industry?

Sometimes some local schools and universities invite me to talk about working in the hospitality industry. The first thing I remind students is that this work is about SERVICE. Yes. WE SERVE OUR GUESTS. If you think that serving is not a pleasure but a humbling job, you better not even start.

11. And your parting message – can you highlight one issue that you think we as an industry should be examining in more detail?

As I said that tourism must find sustainable development, I believe that tourism can play an extraordinary role in the integration of people and for peace in the world.

Every day, in every hotel in the world, are plenty of people (guests and staff) who come from all over the world, who have different cultures, who are of different religions, etc...

These people stay and meet each other every day in the hotel (in the breakfast room, in the bar, in the restaurant, in the Spa, etc..), greeting, smiling and respecting each other. If this happens in a hotel, why this cannot happen in the world????


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