Saying ‘I do’ with Marriott in style
Marriott has launched a new programme called ‘Shaadi by Marriott’ to tap the growing Indian wedding segment. Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President–South Asia, Marriott International, elaborates on how the group’s innovative concepts and partnerships help them
Q How is Marriott involved in the wedding segment?
The premise behind the campaign ‘Shaadi by Marriott’ is to show that we have our fair share of the burgeoning wedding space. This is a segment we have been interested in for a very long time. There are two reasons for that—the first is that we are looking to attract domestic tourists and ensure we endear ourselves up to them. Secondly, we are a global player and the largest hotel company in the world. We are confident that if people can understand and value what we do in India, when they travel outside India, they are likely to stay at a Marriott property. We see this as a way to grow our share of wedding business in India. Q Would this mean that you’d do away with the external wedding planners?
We are not doing away with them, we are working in partnership with them. If a consumer wants to work directly with the hotel, we are more
We are now putting bridal rooms in our properties. We have also put specialist wedding planners in our hotels. We are getting the food tasting done for a wedding at the clients’ homes, instead of them coming all the way to the hotel. Neeraj Govil
than happy to work with them. We are working with a lot of wedding planners across India. The whole idea, from an operations perspective, is about planning to be able to cater to all sorts of weddings. We are now putting bridal rooms in our properties. We have also put specialist wedding planners in our hotels. We are getting the food tasting done for a wedding at the clients’ homes, instead of them coming all the way to the hotel. This personalisation has been very well accepted by our guests. We also launched a campaign towards the end of last year which stated, “If you do your wedding at a Marriott, we will take care of your honeymoon.” We are trying to be a one-stop-shop for weddings, but this is not at all about getting rid of our partners. Q How strong is Marriott in the MICE segment? A large portion of our business comes out of MICE. Most of the JW Marriott properties have large banqueting spaces, both indoors and outdoors. Even our resort locations are big in MICE. We understand the value of this sector and as we are moving ahead with designing our future hotels, we are making sure these hotels are designed in a way that they facilitate movement of larger groups without meddling with the operations of rest of the hotel. We are also keen to be close to large convention centres. For instance, Aerocity has a large convention centre planned that makes it a great place to be. We are also going to open an Aloft in the same location. Growth, for us, has been phenomenal, despite demonetisation. We have also seen a significant amount of increase in our weddings and are looking for a double-digit growth in this segment.