AlumniWorld Economic Forum: Insights from the Hospitality Industry

HIM Graduate Gustav Tuvesson shares his experience from behind closed doors of the biggest hotel in Davos.

As the Manager of Finance of Business Support at the InterContinental Davos, 26-year-old Gustav Tuvesson manages a small team responsible for the hotel’s financial reports, budgets and strategic fiscal planning.

26 and Management level! How did you end up in such a high position at such a young age?
Being in the right place at the right time certainly helped, but a big part of it is because of the targeted Finance Specialization from Hotel Institute Montreux. Finance in the hotel industry is a unique niche that requires a set of key skills that traditional finance graduates may not have. I believe that my Finance Specialization in the hospitality education setting, matched with my management training experience with IHG is what gave me the advantage I needed. Additionally, through my management training, I had the opportunity to travel frequently to the head office in London which resulted in a very valuable network.

During the World Economic Forum, the most powerful and influential leaders in the world stay at the InterContinental. Why do they choose your hotel?
We are the largest chain hotel in the region with an exceptional location. We are close to all of the action of the World Economic Forum but slightly off the beaten path which means our security is top notch from every angle around our location. We are also the only hotel that can accommodate such a large number of guests and provide sufficient banqueting services. I think it helps too that the helicopter landing is situated right below the hotel – VIP service at its finest.

What makes working in a seasonal hotel a unique experience?
It’s a very different experience because we are a large hotel with a very small fulltime employee team. This means the fulltime employees are expected to jump in anytime an extra pair of hands is needed. On a normal day I could easily go from preparing important financial documents to serving breakfast one after the other. I love it because every day is different and offers a great insight into the operations of a hotel!

What were your 3 most memorable moments from this year’s World Economic Forum?

  1. I can’t name any names, but at one point during WEF I was standing 1 meter away from 4 of the most powerful leaders on earth.
  2. The hotel team received a request with 24 hour’s notice for an ice sculpture of a panda from the President of China. And we pulled it off! We found a local artist who created a beautiful ice panda for our extra special guest – an example of going that extra mile in the hospitality industry.
  3. A professional high point for me that happened during WEF was the opportunity to meet with the CEO and Chairman of IHG.

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