From the sun-soaked streets of Thessaloniki to the gleaming towers of Doha, Michalis Kiotis's journey in the hospitality industry is nothing short of remarkable. Currently the Digital Marketing Manager at Raffles and Fairmont, one of Qatar’s most iconic landmarks, Kiotis's career path is a testament to his adaptability, passion, and strategic prowess.

A Greek beginning:
Originally from Greece, Michalis spent most of his life in Thessaloniki, the vibrant city often considered Greece’s cultural capital. With its rich history and dynamic atmosphere, Thessaloniki was the perfect backdrop for Michalis’s formative years. It was here that he developed his innate sense of hospitality, a trait that would become central to his professional identity.

European adventures:
In 2017, Michalis's quest for growth led him to Marbella, Spain, where he pursued his Masters. The experience in Spain was transformative, both professionally and personally. A year later, he moved to London to join Marriott International, a move that would further refine his skills. “Both Spain and the UK were great schools for me,” he reflects. “I grew both professionally and personally.”
His time in London was marked by significant events: Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. Navigating these crises taught Michalis resilience and flexibility. The pandemic, in particular, prompted him to seek new opportunities, leading him to the Middle East.

Embracing the Middle East:
Michalis arrived in Doha, Qatar, in time for the 2022 World Cup, a decision influenced by Qatar's burgeoning market and vibrant dynamism. “Coming to Doha from London was a major change for me,” he admits. “Qatar is the fourth country I am living in, and even if it's a totally different lifestyle than my previous European ones, I found myself adapting very quickly as I loved the dynamism that it has.”

At the helm of iconic landmarks:
At Raffles and Fairmont, Michalis manages the digital marketing strategies for two of the most prestigious hotels in the world. “Raffles and Fairmont is definitely the biggest project I have worked on,” he says. The stunning architecture of these properties has not only redefined Qatar’s skyline but also set new standards in global hospitality. “Even from a personal experience, having visited some of the greatest hotels in the world like Burj Khalifa, Savoy London, The Plaza, etc., these two properties are by far the best I have ever been.”

Passion for hospitality:
When asked what keeps him motivated in the hospitality industry, Michalis’s answer is simple yet profound: “Hospitality is not only a working industry for me; it’s an ongoing passion. My personality was always hospitable, so for me, it was very natural to rise in this field.”

Observing global and local hospitality:
Drawing parallels between global hospitality and that in Qatar, Michalis notes the unique dynamism of the Qatari market. “It’s more dynamic, more on the rise, and more flexible compared to other markets around the world,” he observes.

Digital marketing trends:
As a digital marketing expert, Michalis is at the forefront of industry trends. He highlights the rapid digitalization within hospitality. “There is a huge digital gap in hospitality even between now and five years ago. Social media, online PR, meta campaigns, and e-commerce are starting to become the most important tools in any successful commercial team,” he explains.

Proud accomplishments:
Michalis and his team take immense pride in their digital presence, particularly their social media activity. Their efforts have not only amplified the visibility of Raffles and Fairmont but have also set a benchmark for digital marketing in the hospitality industry.

A world citizen:
Despite his diverse experiences and the various countries he has lived in, Michalis remains deeply connected to his roots while embracing a global perspective. “In the end of the day, I am Greek; however, I also consider myself a world citizen,” he asserts.

Michalis Kiotis's journey from Thessaloniki to Doha, navigating through some of the world’s most challenging markets, showcases a blend of passion, adaptability, and strategic vision. His work at Raffles and Fairmont stands as a testament to his dedication to excellence in the ever-evolving world of hospitality.
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