Wake-up call queen

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES PASLEY

An Auck­land ho­tel worker has claimed sil­ver in the 2017 re­cep­tion­ist world cham­pi­onships.

CityLife Auck­land re­cep­tion­ist Priyanka Payal Sharma flew to Paris in Fe­bru­ary to com­pete in the AICR in­ter­na­tional re­cep­tion­ist of the year com­pe­ti­tion.

AICR is the in­ter­na­tional as­so­ci­a­tion for deputy man­agers and front of­fice man­agers of lux­ury ho­tels.

Sharma tied sec­ond, los­ing to the United King­dom’s Beatrice Gallo and run­ner-up Aus­tralian Emily Short.

She com­peted against re­cep­tion­ists work­ing in in­ter­na­tional ho­tels like the Lang­ham and Four Sea­sons, from des­ti­na­tions in­clud­ing the French Riviera, Cote d’Azur and Monte Carlo.

The an­nual com­pe­ti­tion has been run­ning since 1996.

Two juries watched on as com­peti­tors an­swered ques­tions about ho­tel in­no­va­tions, sales and mar­ket­ing, and gen­eral re­cep­tion­ist knowl­edge.

Sharma had to per­form in a high pres­sure role play sit­u­a­tion deal­ing with a dif­fi­cult early check-in, along­side an an­noyed guest who didn’t re­ceive their wake-up call which led to a missed flight.

She said the role play was dif­fer­ent to what she was used to in New Zealand.

‘‘Per­son­ally, since I’ve been work­ing in re­cep­tion I’ve never missed a wake-up call,’’ Sharma said.

Miss­ing wake-up calls was more com­mon in large in­ter­na­tional ho­tels, she said.

The 24-year-old Mt Al­bert res­i­dent won last year’s New Zealand AICR na­tional com­pe­ti­tion af­ter com­ing sec­ond in the re­gional com­pe­ti­tion.

Sharma won two nights at a Sin­ga­pore ho­tel while Gallo won a week long course at the best hos- pital­ity school in Paris.

Al­though New Zealand sent its na­tional cham­pion to com­pete in the world champs every year, no one has placed since Welling­ton’s Ho­tel In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal re­cep­tion­ist Eve Stacey won the com­pe­ti­tion in 2009.

Sharma started work­ing at CityLife Auck­land when she was 19.

Af­ter two and a half years work­ing in the restau­rant she moved into re­cep­tion, where she has worked for the past two years.

Sharma said she would not com­pete in the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion this year be­cause she’ll be a judge.

JAMES PASLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Priyanka Payal Sharma was cho­sen to face the world’s best re­cep­tion­ists af­ter win­ning the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion last year.

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