Eleni Tsolakou, GM of Park Rotana & Park Arjaan by Rotana, discusses the key to success and sheds light on Abu Dhabi’s vibrant hospitality scene.
What has been the driving force behind your success in the hospitality industry?
The secret to my success in the hospitality industry is a combination of passion, dedication and adaptability. My journey has been shaped by a genuine passion for hospitality and an unwavering commitment to providing exceptional guest experiences. In addition to the ability to adapt to changing market dynamics. I think it’s essential to continuously learn and evolve, keeping up with the latest industry trends and technologies and, of course, fostering a strong team spirit to drive success at every level of the organization.
Aside from passion, my unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional guest experiences has been pivotal in my career growth. I understand that in hospitality, it’s all about going above and beyond. Thus, creating those magical moments that will remain with our guests long after they leave us.
Moreover, my adaptability in a constantly changing industry has set me apart. The capacity to adapt to shifting market conditions, including tech progress, evolving customer preferences, and global events, is vital for success. Furthermore, continuous learning and staying up to date with the latest industry trends and technologies have been crucial. Being at the forefront of innovation and best practices has allowed me to lead my team effectively.
Lastly, I place a strong emphasis on team spirit. Fostering a strong, collaborative environment within my organization has driven success at all levels. Inspiring teamwork and achieving common goals has been pivotal to my career growth, showcasing my ability to motivate and lead.
What type of travelers visit Abu Dhabi and how are you targeting them?
A diverse array of people visit Abu Dhabi. In order to entice these guest segments to choose Park Rotana, we employ a comprehensive strategy. Central to our strategy is an unwavering commitment to quality service, achieved through well-trained and attentive staff. Our goal is to forge lasting guest relationships. Effective marketing via social media and partnerships with local and global tour operators broadens our reach, attracting new potential guests. We offer tailored promotions, such as family, business and extended stay packages, ensuring inclusivity across multiple guest segments. Our hotel’s state-of-the-art conference and event facilities are primed for business travelers. Furthermore, our cultural experiences are major talking points for us. Eco-friendly practices appeal to environmentally conscious guests, as we are constantly looking at ways to increase our carbon-neutral goals. We stay current with industry trends, aligning our offers with changing preferences to create unforgettable experiences for Abu Dhabi visitors.
How do you envision the future of the hospitality sector in Abu Dhabi?
The future of the hospitality sector in Abu Dhabi looks very promising, particularly with ongoing infrastructure developments, such as the opening of the new airport terminal and the construction of new world-class attractions in the Cultural District. The upcoming Guggenheim Museum (2025), Louvre Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World, Sea World and Warner Bros World promise further growth, attracting travelers from new markets. Abu Dhabi’s emphasis on ensuring sustainability and eco-tourism also aligns with global trends. Abu Dhabi’s government commitment to economic diversification and tourism promotion enhances its appeal to regional and global travelers. As a result, I foresee steady growth and increased competition, which will drive us to continually enhance our offerings and guest experiences.
What differentiates the new generation of hotel guests?
The new generation of hotel guests is discerning and tech savvy. In some cases, they can value experiences over possessions and seek personalization in their stays. This generation is highly connected, relying on mobile apps and digital platforms for bookings and services. Consequently, we invested in digital solutions, room customization and virtual concierge services to ensure guests discover the tailored experiences they desire. Sustainability and eco-friendliness are also important. Thus, we’ve implemented eco-initiatives throughout the hotel. For example, we increased recycling efforts and donated linen and other assets to local charities along with CSR initiatives. We have also initiated our own organic produce grown hydroponically at the property.
Additionally, the new generation looks for unique, local experiences and flavors. Consequently, this has prompted us to collaborate with local businesses and incorporate authentic Emirati experiences into our offerings.