By Jorge J. J. Martínez
Stefania Ballotta is a passionate, creative woman with excellent attention to detail. She is currently the Sales and Marketing Director for the Barceló Maya Grand Resort, the Barceló Hotel Group’s largest hotel complex.
A native of Italy, she studied International Law and has a Ph.D. in Political Science. As fate would have it, her relationship with Grupo Barceló in the Dominican Republic began in 1993. She was at the start of her career and vacationing at the Dominican Republic’s Barceló Bávaro Grand Resort when the BHG chain invited her to begin what was to become her greatest passion.
Stefania is very engaged in the industry. Her dedication is evident in her sophisticated marketing, drawing on her extensive experience in different industry segments, including groups and conventions, weddings, gastronomy, and high-level event planning.
What is the current state of meetings, events, conventions, and incentives?
“We are extremely committed to our clients, suppliers, and associates and have adapted to all the protocols. We have already handled several groups, and our team is clear on how to deliver safety,”said the Sales and Marketing Director of Barceló Maya Grand Resort.
She added: “We are part of the value stream: the airline, the DMC, and us as a hotel.We must be aligned to carry out all our events successfully.”
The resort asks groups of more than 150 people to present their antigen test or have it done upon arrival at the on-site specialized laboratory to guarantee the safety of the attendees.
As part of its reactivation during the new normal, Barceló has already welcomed at least ten large groups of 200 to 300 rooms. Another advantage of the complex is the abundance of outdoor space for various activities such as dinners and cocktail parties.
Stefania enjoys getting involved in the operation to pay attention to every detail, and identifies what to improve with the next group. Concerning the new ways of negotiating with Meeting Planners, she recommended generating experiences rather than spending a lot on production.
Barceló Mayan Grand Resort has it all to serve the MICE industry
Ballotta has grown from managing the business end of 2,760 rooms to 3,610, thanks to the company’slatest project: the adults-only Barceló Maya Riviera hotel with 850 rooms andits convention center, the Barceló Maya Arena with more than 21,000m2 of meeting space.
“With the opening of the new convention center, the largest meetings venue in the Riviera Maya, we can accommodate conventions of up to 8,000 people while maintaining social distancing and hosting simultaneous groups thanks to its enormous size,”stated Stefania.
Barceló Maya Riviera also has a particular distinguishing service for groups: all rooms have a unique mattress design, so they can offer a king-size bed or two to share, depending on the requirements. “We are the only ones that can offer a complete hotel in either of these two formats,” said Stefania Ballotta.
The Barceló Mayan Grand Resorts complex is a destination unto itself within the Riviera Maya, offering six hotels in four different categories for different budgets.
Its vast premises offer 2km of white sand beach, a wide gastronomic variety in its more than 26 restaurants, mini-golf, shopping center, a Catholic chapel, and endless activities. Groups can even run a 5k race without leaving the resort.
Thank you, Stefania, for sharing your experience and vision in the wake of the lesson this pandemic has been. Keep enjoying life, travel, food, and Mexican culture.