Juliana Souza was recently appointed general manager of Swiss-Belresort Coronet Peak in Queenstown.

Originally from Brazil, Souza’s first job was in a perfume store during the Christmas holidays, responsible for wrapping gifts and stocking shelves. “It was a great first job with a fun environment and I got a lot of experience interacting with the customers.”

Souza moved to New Zealand in 2009, drawn by the spectacular landscape and relaxed lifestyle. After starting as a receptionist at a 90-bed backpackers’ hostel, within two years she became owner-operator, adopting a hands-on role in the day-to-day running of the hostel.

She has since worked for Sherwood and JUCY Group in Queenstown, and joins Swiss-Belhotel International with a wealth of hospitality and retail experience.

In the 12 years she’s been living and working in Queenstown, Souza has seen a lot of changes. “Queenstown used to be a holiday destination with a small-town feel, and it used to be calmer,” she explained. “The success of tourism has certainly changed things here, but it has also created a phenomenal amount of opportunity. Where else offers so many adventures in such a beautiful setting?”

Having successfully set up two hotels in New Zealand’s adventure capital, Souza has mentored and developed a multitude of passionate young professionals, something she considers to be of utmost importance in her career. “I love seeing young talent in hospitality grow. It’s incredibly rewarding to watch my team take on and apply new information.”

Looking ahead, Souza is extremely excited to take on her new position with Swiss-Belhotel International, one of the world’s largest hotel management groups, and continue to develop her skillset within the ever-changing world of hospitality.

“Each day is unique in this industry, and that’s what makes it so stimulating. The fast-paced environment that never stops and never sleeps brings a sense of urgency and the feeling of accomplishment.”