This month we have been discussing careers in the travel & hospitality industry and recently sat down with Dajana Gjoza of Expedia to discuss how she started out in this growing, ever-changing market and what she loves the most about working with a global tech company like Expedia.
Name: Dajana Gjoza
Position: Account Executive
Been with Expedia since: Oct 2016
- Have you always wanted to work in the travel & hospitality industry?
Yes! I fell in love with hospitality when I got to college, as I started taking courses to fulfill my hospitality degree.
I’ve also always loved working with people, learning about different cultures and seeing different hotels throughout the world. I started travelling a lot on my own my last couple of years of college, and a year ago I made it my New Year’s Resolution to go to a new place once a month – last year alone I took 32 flights to fulfil my resolution, and I’ve never looked back! Ever since experiencing new cities, cultures and adventures, I’ve been entirely confident that the travel and hospitality industry is where I want to stay.
- As a global travel technology company, what made you want to work for Expedia?
I moved to Expedia after having a pretty heavy background working at hotels. I loved working in-house but I also loved the fact that Expedia was able to offer a higher-level perspective on the market that an individual hotel is not able to see.
I was intrigued by the idea of account management and offering hotels in the New York City market insight on how the market was doing and what would be the best way to attract guests to the city and their property.
- What is your favourite part of your position at Expedia?
I love the partnership between hotels and Expedia! The hospitality industry is a lot smaller than it seems so it’s always nice to be able to meet partners at industry events and have the ability to spread knowledge and share ideas about what we’re seeing in the market.
Also, at the end of the day we all care about our guests and we want to be able to grant people access to affordable vacations, so working for a company that is literally “bringing the world within reach” is a fulfilling experience.
- You live and work in New York. What is the best thing you have discovered in the city and why would you recommend it as a travel destination?
As cliché as it may sound, the food in New York is world class. Every street corner is filled with food options from all over the world. You can go to an Ethiopian restaurant for dinner and get Greek treats for dessert, there’s really no way to ever go wrong.
I’d recommend it as a travel destination because New York has a little bit of everything; museums for those interested in art and history, miles of restaurants for the foodies, nature, music, and of course – hotels on hotels! New York has something for everyone and every season in New York has its own unique charm, you really can’t go wrong.
- During your time working the travel & hospitality industry what significant changes and developments have you seen?
The hospitality industry is always growing and new companies are always entering it. When I first started in hospitality there was no threat in the lodging industry for hotels – it was very standard for you to plan a vacation around when a hotel had availability, now lodging is very often the last thing people think about when they plan a trip because it is so readily available.
Millennials especially tend to book flights first and then worry about where they’re going to stay because the market is so saturated – they can stay at a hotel, they can stay at an Airbnb, they can stay at hostels – their options are unlimited.
- Do you have any predictions for the travel & hospitality industry in 2019?
I predict that new threats will begin entering the hospitality market, specifically for hotels. With AirBnB entering hotel space and rumours that Amazon may try to get its hands in the hospitality pot, I think hotels more than ever will have to fight to stay relevant among younger consumers.
While larger brands have been pushing booking direct for a while, smaller brands and independent hotels will have to continue to price competitively in order to attract guests that may look to take their business to a newer and shinier lodging option.
It’s been great speaking with Dajana about her role in the travel & hospitality industry and how she sees it developing over the next twelve months.
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