New GM eyes slice of online, young travellers’ market
Strengthening its online presence and its hold on the younger domestic market are the main thrusts of the new general manager of a major hotel in Cebu City.
Patrick Carroll, the new general manager of Cebu City Marriott Hotel, said he would also continue upgrading the hotel’s facilities, which was pursued by his predecessor Bruce Winton.
“While Marriott is a brand that is known all over the world, I think there is a need for the hotel to intensify its presence online to better reach out particularly to the active young market of the country who now loves to travel,” said Carroll, who was assigned in the Marriott’s Seoul, South Korea hotel as director of finance before moving to Cebu.
Carroll said that while Cebu is a top destination in the country, getting a good slice of the market is something that every hotel needs to work on especially that there are a lot of new competition in the market in Cebu.
Marriott as a group already has a strong website that allows anyone to access information of the different properties around the world and make reservations.
Carroll said this is a good foundation to bank on and perhaps we can develop something that will complement it like the hotel’s Facebook page.
“We can’t help it. More and more of these social websites are gaining popularity among the younger generation. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, name it. We want to be there, we want to be where our target markets are,” said Carroll.
Young generation market according to Carroll are very empowered now with most information now available to them at the click of their mouse that is why he said it is important to make them know about Marriott and what its brand offers.
Aside from that, Carroll said that they also monitor online travel websites like TripAdvisor and look at what people are saying about their property and make sure that every concern is being addressed and every customer given feedback on the steps that the hotel has taken to improve on their operations more.
According to Carroll, 95 percent of their grand ballroom renovation is complete which will add more value to their customers.
“Aside from stay-in guests, we would like to enhance our reputation for functions here in Cebu. Our upgraded function rooms are now equipped with state-of-the-art system for every function needs.”
They are also beefing up the food and beverage business, which is one of the hotel’s top revenue contributors, to encourage their guests to stay and dine at their restaurant instead of going out to the mall and eat at fast food chains.
On a global scale, Carroll said that being an international brand, they are seeing to it that they promote Cebu as a destination for Mice or meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions events.
“We coordinate with the worldwide Marriott network all over the world and participate in bidding for more international Mice events which does not only help our property but also promote Cebu as Mice destination.”
Last year, the hotel registered an average occupancy rate of 70 percent, despite the entry of more business hotels and as of this month, their average stood at 68 percent occupancy.
Their top market remains the domestic market followed by the Koreans, Americans and Europeans.
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