A decade and a half into the industry and Iris remains as passionate about travel as she was when she first started out. Putting her traveller hat on to provide insightful solutions to clients comes easy to Iris.
Tell us a bit about your career in hospitality and the journey to STAAH.
I have now spent 15 exciting years in the travel industry – never a dull moment here! I began my career at a local travel agency [Kuala Lumpur] and have ticked off many aspects and big brands in travel sales and distribution over the years. Asia Experience Tour gave me experience on the wholesale side of travel while with Amadeus I understood the ins and outs of GDS.
I spent two years with a BPO on an Expedia-linked project before moving into Booking.com followed by a stint at Traveloka. STAAH happened about two and a half years ago. Here I help find solutions within the STAAH repertoire of products to help properties – small, medium or large unleash their true online potential.
Talk about your shift from back end to front end of hospitality.
This was a big shift for me, and definitely not one I was confident about. It would not have been possible without the support by a stream of managers who believed in me and gave me the opportunity to grow into a front end, people-facing role. I am no longer afraid of meeting people and striking up a conversation; in fact it is a part of my job I love the most.
What do you like most about STAAH and your job?
The strong working relationship with colleagues from different countries is something very special. During challenging times, you can always rely on guidance and help from team members around the world.
I also enjoy the opportunity to meet accommodation providers of all sizes and from various parts of the country, understand their needs and market trends, and offer solutions that help them multiply their reach. STAAH has a high-quality collection of products that help hoteliers around the world boost their sales and improve efficiencies; I am incredibly proud to be a part of this growth.
What is your hospitality success mantra?
Be sincere. Be kind and always listen to understand the needs before providing solutions.
Tell us about your interests outside STAAH. Do they help you do your job better?
Outside of work, I love spending time with my family. Weekends and holidays with my family, especially my daughter and husband, are priceless. My love for travel sees me jet-setting around the world – and within the country – at least once or twice a year. The holidays definitely recharge me for the job.