Marriott International organises Hop-On-Hop-Off thank you ‘journey’

Although people are more mindful of their spending, the hotel chain has seen an increase in domestic travel, specifically focused on weekend staycations

By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK

Malaysia’s tourism industry is a key contributor to the country’s economy and though recent geopolitical, as well as geological, changes have currently affected the global economy — impacting a number of industries spanning the country — tourism remains robust.

One hotel chain in Malaysia, the Marriott International Inc, said the downtrend of the current economy in the country has not affected them thus far.

“Although we have noticed that people are more mindful on what they spend their disposable income on, especially when planning their travels or dining out, customers are still willing to shell out for leisure life-style amenities. Because of this, we have seen an increase in domestic travel, specifically focused on weekend staycations in various destinations such as Langkawi, Sabah, Penang and even Kuala Lumpur,” said director, digital marketing, of Marriott International South-East Asia & Malaysia Cindy Yoong.

Yoong said by providing a wide range of accommodation options that vary from select service to luxury, it makes it easy for their customers to decide where and which hotels would compliment their budget range.

“In terms of business travel, Malaysia is still a popular choice as it offers much value for money. So, we do not see any major impact on our business,” she added.

Marriott International Singapore, Malaysia and the Maldives area sales and distribution director Sho Hwee said the reason their chain of hotels has managed to defy the economy and, on top of that, received recognition as one of the world’s largest hotel company is because of its loyal customers.

For that reason, in conjunction with the companys’ annual incentive programme — Global Customer Appreciation Week (GCAW) — recently, the hotel chain partnered

Hop-On-Hop-Off buses to furnish their customers “Journey” around the city as a thank you.

“The GCAW gives us the opportunity to show our appreciation to our customers of just how much we value their business. It also gives allows us to engage and interact with them on a one-to-one basis,” she said at the unveiling of the “Journey” in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Sho pointed out that this was the first time a bus company was employed for the event. She also said that GCAW is also paying it forward by collaborating with other hotels to feed the not-so-fortunate at the Kechara Soup Kitchen.

“We are delighted that the unity reflected by our staff has made such a positive impact onto our guests. This is important because it will ensure Marriott International’s continuous success,” she said.

The “Journey” was accompanied by a live music duo founded by Project Aloft Star, Kita:Orang. The bus departed from Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral to Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, with lunch at Sheraton Petaling Jaya.

Afterwards, the passengers were led to Renaissance Hotel, Element by Westin, The Westin and Sheraton Imperial. The ride was concluded with a social high tea at The St Regis.

Each hotel performed for the bus passengers, among them a Bhangra dance and an aerobic choreography. The ride also passed the work in progress, W Hotel, which is due to launch mid-2018.

Marriott International reported a total revenue of RM23.91 billion for its third quarter (3Q).

Based in Maryland, US, the group possesses over 6,100 properties in its 30 hotel brands spanning 122 countries and territories in its portfolio. It reported that the company expects its room count to increase by 7% next year, having added 22,800 rooms during the 3Q ended Sept 30, 2017.