Magical Journey

Monika Nessbach, founder/chief interior designer, DESIGNBAR

What initially inspired you to get into the hospitality business? My journey into the hospitality business was deeply personal, blending my love for travel, culture, design, and architecture. Being born and raised in Germany, travel was a vital part of my upbringing with so many different countries and cultures in close vicinity. I had this insatiable curiosity to explore, to immerse myself in new environments, and to learn. Hotels, to me, were these magical places where each offered a different experience and an opportunity to embrace the new and the different. This feeling of entering an elevated space that was both unique and inspiring is what I sought to recreate in my own work within the industry. 

What’s your outlook for the future with regards to diversity and inclusion within hospitality? My outlook for the future regarding diversity and inclusion within the hospitality industry is positive and forward-looking. As we continue to navigate a world that increasingly values diverse perspectives and inclusive practices, the hospitality industry has the potential to lead by example. There’s a growing recognition of the richness that diversity brings to the guest experience and to our teams. I anticipate seeing a more varied representation of people at all levels, particularly in leadership roles. The future I envision is one where hospitality not only welcomes guests from all walks of life but also actively provides a platform for varied voices and backgrounds to thrive within the industry itself.

In your opinion, how is the lodging industry doing in terms of getting women into leadership positions? The lodging industry is making progress in promoting women into leadership roles, especially as the sector rebuilds post-pandemic. From my perspective, I’ve witnessed a positive shift towards greater inclusivity. Many hotels and lodging establishments are actively striving to promote gender diversity in their leadership teams. They recognize the unique perspectives and skill sets that women bring to the table, particularly in areas such as guest experience, design, and operations. There’s a collective effort needed from both industry leaders and stakeholders to continue championing gender diversity and ensuring that women have equal opportunities to excel and lead within the lodging industry.

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