Value, Excellence and Vision

This month, OHLALA chatted with Cristalyn Pastrana, Complex Director of Marketing at The Westin and Le Méridien City Centre Bahrain, about the importance of marketing and her successful career.

“What I love most about working in the hospitality industry is the incredible diversity it brings to my daily work.”

– Cristalyn Pastrana

OHLALA – As Complex Director of Marketing at The Westin and Le Méridien City Centre Bahrain, what is your role and what brands do you work with?
Cristalyn Pastrana –
I am part of The Westin and Le Méridien leadership team that looks after the overall hotel marketing strategies, digital, public relations (PR) and branding of two brands, The Westin and Le Méridien.

OHLALA – How important is marketing in the hospitality industry?
Cristalyn –
The marketing function is a vital part of the hospitality industry, as it plays a crucial role in delivering targeted messages to the public through various channels and tools. Over the years, the marketing industry has undergone significant transformations, particularly with the rise of digitalisation. This shift has created new opportunities for hotels to connect with guests and build brand awareness. In the hospitality industry, marketing is essential for establishing a strong connection between hotels and guests. Marketers act as the bridge between the two, executing effective communication strategies that drive guest engagement, loyalty and, ultimately, revenue. In today’s digital landscape, this field is more important than ever. Hotels must have a solid marketing strategy in place to stay competitive, drive bookings and enhance guest satisfaction. By understanding the importance of marketing in the hospitality industry, hotels can capitalise on new opportunities and stay ahead of the curve.

OHLALA – When working in hospitality, what are the main aspects to consider when creating an effective marketing plan?
Cristalyn –
There are several key aspects to consider. First, guest feedback is essential in understanding what they like and dislike about a hotel. This information can be used to identify areas for improvement, tailor marketing messages to specific audience segments and create targeted promotions. Additionally, data from previous campaigns is crucial in evaluating the effectiveness of marketing strategies. Marketers should analyse metrics such as conversion rates, engagement and, of course, return on investment to refine the approach and optimise results. Furthermore, staying up-to-date with market trends is vital in the hospitality industry. It is essential to be aware of new players in the market, year-round events in the country that impact occupancy levels and emerging trends that can influence consumer behaviour. By considering these factors and incorporating them into marketing strategy, marketers can create targeted and effective campaigns that drive results and enhance customer satisfaction.

OHLALA – What do you like most about working in this field?
Cristalyn –
What I love most about working in the hospitality industry is the incredible diversity it brings to my daily work. As a hospitality professional, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world, each with their unique story, culture and background. I thrive in an environment where no two days are alike and I’m constantly challenged to think creatively and adapt to new situations. I find that the fast-paced and dynamic nature of the hospitality industry keeps me energised and motivated. I’m always learning something new, whether it’s about different cultures, new technologies or innovative ways to provide exceptional customer service. Overall, I feel incredibly fortunate to be working in a sector rich in diversity, excitement and possibility.

OHLALA – What are your personal favourite things to do or special features at The Westin City Centre Bahrain and Le Méridien Bahrain?
Cristalyn –
As a foodie, I have to say that I’m really fond of our Furn Restaurant at The Westin City Centre Bahrain. I love our Mediterraneaninspired menu and the healthy salads are always a great option. Our Salero Spanish Restaurant is another favourite spot of mine – tapas and paella are the best! And Baharat at Le Méridien City Centre Bahrain is always a treat, especially during theme nights and Friday Brunch. There’s something for everyone at our restaurants, and I feel lucky to have such great options right here.

OHLALA – How important is it to have the community as an active part of the everyday routine of the property?
Cristalyn –
We believe that having the community as an integral part of our daily routine is crucial for the success and sustainability of our property. At Marriott International, our commitment to creating a positive impact is reflected in our Serve 360 programme, which focuses on doing good in every direction. Our local community and Bahraini associates play a vital role in our business, and we recognise the value of their involvement and participation in shaping our daily operations and long-term goals.

OHLALA – You have been listed in the Marketing Power List 2024 by Hotelier Middle East. How important is it to be part of this select list?
Cristalyn –
Being listed for three consecutive years brings me great honour. Being part of the Marketing Power List 2024 from Hotelier Middle East is a prestigious recognition that showcases exceptional marketing expertise, boosts credibility, provides a competitive advantage and motivates me and my team to strive for excellence.

OHLALA – How long have you been in Bahrain and what is a highlight of the country for you?
Cristalyn –
I have been living in Bahrain since 2009, and it’s a country that holds a special place in my heart. One of the highlights of my time here is the joy of building a life with my family. I got married in Bahrain, and we’re proud parents of a lovely daughter born here. The country is a wonderful home for me and my family.


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