Kasun Kannangara Kasun Kannangara

Kasun Kannangara has been with the Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort in Fujairah for 12 years. Beginning his career as an events coordinator, he now heads up the recreation activities at the property.

What is your career background?

Today, I find myself at this position of director of recreation having served as a lifeguard previously. I started off as a music host in Sri Lanka. I relocated to Spain in December 2003, a year later I worked in Thailand, and from 2004 onwards, I have been with Le Méridien al Aqah Beach Resort starting as events coordinator and then earning promotions along the way to reach my current role.

What are your responsibilities at the hotel?

My responsibilities mainly revolve around managing and leading the overall recreation experience at Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort. This includes providing leadership and direction in the development of short and long range plans, and to manage a comprehensive recreation programme including evening animation shows, instructional programmes, special events and overall control of the penguin club, the swimming pool areas, spa and fitness areas.

Tell us a bit about the short- and long-term plans you are tasked with formulating, and how does your position translate to profitability for your hotel?

Short-term plans include efficient day-to-day operations of the outdoor recreation and spa facilities. Long-term plans include creating exciting packages and entertainment through animation for our guests. Ensuring the guests have an engaging and happy experience with all leisure and sport activities, this in turn leads to incremental revenue and repeat guests. Constantly researching spa treatments, keeping in mind our guests who are sport enthusiasts, as well as our guests who are here to relax and rejuvenate.

What ways do you train and motivate staff in your department?

I always believe in leading by example. I involve my team and keep them empowered to make decisions at their level. I insist on good training and always encourage them to enhance their understanding and skills so that they can enhance not only their job function but their career as well.

How do you plan to attract guests with the upcoming summer months given most activities are outdoor?

During the summer months, we control the temperature of the pool for the water activities to make it comfortable for the guests. We also ensure that refreshments are close at hand and easy to find; additionally providing numerous shaded areas is part of the strategy.

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