Jenna Gangmei – Director of Sales and Marketing at Barceló Whale Lagoon Maldives

We had the chance to chat with Jenna Gangmei, the Director of Sales and Marketing at Barceló Whale Lagoon Maldives, as part of our International Women’s Day interview series. With a profound passion for travel and a keen interest in diverse cultures, Jenna’s career path in hospitality was a natural progression, fuelled by a desire to connect with people from around the world.

Through meticulous market research and strategic alliances, Jenna crafts tailored approaches to pinpoint potential markets and target demographics for the resort’s offerings.

What inspired your career path towards sales and marketing within the hospitality sector?

I have been always passionate about travelling, and meeting people from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds. It was very clear to me since I was young that I would love to work in the tourism sector and hospitality was the first thing that came to my mind. During my initial days as a reservation agent, we worked very closely with the Sales and Marketing Team of the hotel. That’s when, I realise that sales and marketing management in the hospitality industry is Dynamic and Ever Evolving, offering a unique blend of guest service, business acumen, and relationship building. Every day gives different experiences and prospects, developing new and innovative ways to connect with and inspire consumers.  The joy of working together with people from different countries as a colleague and business partners completely blends my passion and career.

Could you elaborate on your strategy for pinpointing potential markets and target audiences for the resort’s offerings and amenities?

By employing a comprehensive strategy that includes market research, customer segmentation, and targeted marketing campaigns, we pinpoint potential markets. Proper market research is very important; we also analyse our competitors, understanding the segmentation we are targeting with unique selling points that would be attractive. We also focus on doing proper digital marketing and ensuring that we have an online presence in the market we are targeting. We collaborate with key players in the market as well. It is important to get feedback and understand what they love about our resort and areas where improvements can be made. We also do a lot of targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with the unique needs and interests of the segment and the market we are targeting and also enhance our engagement with potential customers. We also identify the peak seasons to promote special offers. We regularly review the performance of our marketing initiatives and the possibilities to reassess depending on the feedback and changing market dynamics.

Amidst the current competitive landscape, how do you distinguish Barceló Whale Lagoon Maldives from other resorts in the region?

Personalised service with utmost care and attention is the backbone of our resort. We have an excellent team on board and with our immersive destination experience we offer the best Maldivian hospitality but with a Spanish touch. The team has been trained extensively to ensure that we don’t leave any stone unturned to ensure the satisfaction of the guest. The whole idea is to anticipate their requirement and offer the desired service before they even ask for it. Serving the guests with our hearts just as we serve our guests at home with a genuine welcome to the Barceló Whale Lagoon family during their stay.

From your perspective, what are the primary challenges women encounter in today’s workplace, and what measures can be implemented to address them effectively?

Jenna: Women in the workplace still face various challenges despite significant progress in recent years. Some primary challenges include Gender bias and Stereotypes, Pay inequality, Lack of representation in leadership roles, Harassment, and discrimination, including racially as well. To address these challenges effectively, a comprehensive and sustained effort from both individuals and organizations is required to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace. Some measures that can be taken are equal pay policies, diversity and inclusion programs, flexible work arrangements, leadership development programs, training, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

Could you share yourmethodology for fostering enduring relationships with key clients and partners?

Jenna: Building enduring relationships with key clients and partners is crucial for the success of any business. Firstly, it is important to understand their needs and maintain effective communication with them. There should be a personalized approach to their requirement and if possible, always exceed expectations. There must be trust and regular engagement. To continuously take feedback and work on improving it if required. It is important to focus on a long-term vision for a win-win business collaboration.

Identifying the most significant opportunities and threats looming over the hospitality industry in the coming years, how do you intend to navigate them?

Identifying the most significant opportunities and threats in the hospitality industry is essential for Strategic Planning. We navigate the opportunities by using the available technology effectively, practicing sustainable hospitality, giving experience-driven personalized and exceptional guest services, following the global travel trends by staying updated with the emerging travel trends, and studying and understanding guests’ preferences and their travel behaviour. On the other hand, the threats looming over the hospitality industry in the coming years are global health crises, it is important to always implement the safety protocols we have learned from the experience with the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic; there is a lot of competition as well with many resorts opening each year, it is important to strive for personalised marketing strategies to reach potential guests and partners at all times. An economic crisis is another big threat, so it is important to implement flexible pricing strategies and diversify revenue streams as well.

Considering the future, what transformations or progressions do you envision regarding gender equality and women’s rights, both within professional environments and society at large?

Envisioning the future of gender equality and women’s rights involves considering ongoing progress and potential transformations. I think within Professional Environments, increasing women’s leadership roles is the most important, flexible work arrangement by prioritizing work-life balance. In society at large, it is important to strengthen women’s rights and media representatives in advocating the presence of women and their achievements and contributions to society. Increased awareness and education that an empowered society includes women in all aspects.