The Big Cheese

Big Cheese Catch-up with Meliá Hotels & Resorts’ Edward E. Snoeks

Ahead of Meliá Chiang Mai’s April debut, we had a chin wag with its general manager… until he asked us to stop wiggling our jaws and speak normally.

What’s your main goal for this year?

Opening Meliá Chiang Mai.

What’s your favourite thing about working in/with the MICE industry?

Creating different experiences tailor-made for different groups and seeing the team’s excitement stemming from orchestrating a good event.

How do you like to spend your free time?

Outdoors, hiking. I think we all appreciate the outdoors more than ever in light of what’s happened over the past two years.

What is the most stand-out event or incentive you’ve attended?

Even though we haven’t opened our hotel yet, our team was very fortunate to provide catering for an intimate event for a VIP person here in Chiang Mai recently.

After so much doom and gloom since the onset of the global pandemic, this was such a stand-out event. Our team’s excitement was palpable.

It’s such a reward to see the team genuinely happy and have the opportunity to do what they love to do before our hotel’s opening in April.

If you could invite three famous guests (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would you choose?

Ayrton Senna, Janis Joplin and Ozzy Osborne. Hopefully, Ozzy has plans for Chiang Mai on the horizon!

In your opinion, what are the key elements of a successful event?

The event’s location, the organisation that goes into the event and the military precision of the event’s execution.

There’s a magic to it when so many variables come together so seamlessly on the surface.

What’s something positive you’ve witnessed or experienced since the global pandemic hit?

It’s been such a positive experience recruiting staff for Meliá Chiang Mai’s debut and witnessing their excitement about being involved in something new happening here in Chiang Mai during these unprecedented times.

In the lead-up to our hotel’s opening, we’ve been quite surprised by the number of enquiries we’ve received about events such as weddings and meetings, so that definitely makes for a light at the end of the tunnel.

What’s your advice for others in the MICE industry on coping with the global pandemic?

We need to prepare for the tourism industry’s inevitable comeback. We must be creative in terms of our offerings and really think about how we run these events in the new normal in a compelling way.

We must strike a balance between digitalisation and that personal touch that is the cornerstone of the hospitality industry.

What book and/or TV show can you not get enough of lately?

I’m reading the founder and president of Meliá Hotels International Gabriel Escarrer’s memoir ‘My life’ written by journalist Isabel Duran.

An inspiring read about a path of blood, sweat and tears taken by a humble yet very ambitious person.