Heralding MICE with Marriott
In an exclusive interview, Jatin Khanna, Multi- property VP, Bengaluru, talks of the expansion of Marriott International in Bengaluru, introduction of new brands and more
How is the state of Karnataka and specifically Bengaluru developing as a destination for MICE?
Bengaluru has long been perceived as an IT hub. And as the major influx is of people visiting the city for meetings and conferences, the MICE segment has a lot of scope to grow. As a brand, Marriott is focusing on becoming the preferred destination for all big city wide events with the largest meeting and convention space to offer in the city.
Which hotels does Marriott offer in Bengaluru, especially after the Starwood merger? What are your future plans there?
Post the merger, Marriott has 10 brands and 12 hotels operating in Bengaluru. These include Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield, ITC Windsor Bengaluru, ITC Royal Gardenia Bengaluru, le Meridian Bengaluru, Aloft Bengaluru Whitefield, Four Points by Sheraton Bengaluru, J.W. Marriott Bengaluru, Courtyard Bengaluru Outer Ring Road, Fairfield by Marriott Bengaluru Outer Ring Road, Fairfield by Marriott Bengaluru Rajajinagar, Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway and The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore.
The hospitality industry in Bengaluru is upbeat and we expect the market to continue growing at a steady pace. Within Bengaluru, Marriott holds 24 per cent market share with a diverse portfolio across brands and categories which ensures that we continue to grow at a fast pace.
Has there been any lay-offs post the merger? What are your policies on retention and growth of talent?
Across all our Marriott hotels we follow our parent company's philosophy which focuses on putting people first. We believe that if we take
care of our associates, they will take care of the customers and that will have the customer keep coming back. We believe that our employees are our brand ambassadors and we give our associates opportunities to grow and succeed with the brand.
Setting the right culture and instilling our core values in everything we do, are the two pillars to ensuring each and every associate who walks through the doors, each morning is felt as a sense of ownership and pride in their lives. Embracing what makes each of us unique as well as providing opportunity for personal fulfilment and growth is all part of our Putting People First culture.
Which were your previous brands, enumerate the new development in the pipeline?
As mentioned before, we have 10 operating brands of Marriott and 12 managed hotels in Bengaluru. Our outlook towards the future is to continue striving towards providing our guests with better and unique experiences. We will continue refining our customer strategies keeping in mind the evolving nature of the customer. Today's traveller is tech savvy and enjoys unique tailor made experiences. With that in mind, we are focusing towards our loyalty programmes, namely Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) to continue creating these experiences for our guests.
What has been the average occupancy, ARRs and RevPAR for your hotels in Bengaluru? Being established in a city where at present the hospitality industry is witnessing a double digit RevPAR growth driven primarily through ADR we have never really seen a dip in the occupancy rates. On an average, the occupancy rate is consistent annually at Marriott.
With so many hotels in Bengaluru, which are the local vendors that you connect with?
We engage with a lot of local vendors when it comes to fresh, seasonal ingredients as these initiative's truly help and support livelihoods in the society we serve in.
Within Bengaluru, Marriott holds 24 per cent market share with a diverse portfolio across brands and categories