Bahrain Confidential interviews Lilian Roger, General Manager of ART Rotana.
Tell us something personal – how would you describe yourself in one word?
I would say “adaptable” is the word which describes me the best. Having worked in 8 different countries – Scotland, France, Tunisia, Algeria, Japan, China, Australia and now in Bahrain- certainly requires a high level of adaptability to accept and excel within different work environments, cultures, traditions, processes, guests’ expectations, day to day life… and so on.
If you can change one thing about hospitality in general, what would it be?
Recognition of the industry. Unfortunately, the hospitality industry is often seen as a career dead-end or in certain cultures, the industry is associated to inappropriate working environment. This is extremely sad, as the industry has a lot to offer. Everyone in the organization has a key role to play, while also working simultaneously to create a treasured times and unforgettable experiences for our guests – this is what we, at Rotana, strive to do every day.
“So, if I had to pick only one success, it surely would be the ART Rotana Team. “
Can you shed light on your vision for the hotel this 2020?
A lot of work and effort has been applied over the last few years by BTEA to promote Bahrain as a great destination and with this activation we have witnessed new markets’ opening that have had a positive effect on the tourism industry. Russia, Germany, India are a few examples of success stories generating additional revenue and awareness for the Kingdom of Bahrain. BTEA is not only targeting the international market but also gives a major role to regional tourism. The fact that Manama has been appointed the “Capital of Arab Tourism 2020” is another great example of Bahrain’s strong desire to promote the destination locally.
What have been the biggest challenges and successes of the past year?
Our biggest successes have been to overcome the continuous challenges faced during the year! I am extremely proud of the team achievements in ART Rotana, especially within such trading conditions. It might sound very cliché to say that the human factor is the most important component in our industry but why should I change the truth and reality. A hotel makes it happen thanks to its team members who, daily and consistently, are dedicated and committed to deliver exceptional service and product. So, if I had to pick only one success, it surely would be the ART Rotana Team.
Is there a particular saying or motto that guides you?
There are many great mottos out there, but I like to use two a bit more than others: “Never give up” and “challenge the status quo”. Both demonstrate a will to move forward and keep on finding new options, ideas and solutions with an acceptance for “failure” and “risk”. A sense of constant movement transpires through these two sayings and this is what drives me.