Today at the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Annual General Meeting being held in Dallas, Texas, the room was riveted to an interview conducted with Bill Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International, Inc.
Big in the news and in the world of Marriott, is the recent merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. When asked why Marriott would even consider this merger, Bill’s reply was, because we never stop achieving. With Starwood, we will have more than half a million employees, and we really care about every single one. Plus, it’s good for our shareholders.
Bill was asked how he would tell his father about the Starwood merger, to which he responded that he would be scared to tell him, and would rather let him read about it in the newspaper.
He explained that with the Starwood merger, the Marriott reward system includes 30 brands in any major, or not so major, city. He admitted that this creation of a new inexpensive chain will provide accommodations that most of those in the room as business people probably would not stay at. But for those who just want a comfortable bed and a 50-inch TV, it is the perfect place to stay.
Bill was asked what the secret of Marriott’s success is, and he said it’s all based in the Marriott philosophy. He said at Marriott, they really do care about every single person working for Marriott. He said, if you don’t consult your staff, your advisors, and even your opponent, you will be the only one left in the room.
Marriott believes in motivating people in the company, and this positivity in turn trickles down, and brings repeat guests to their properties. He has been quoted on the Marriott website as saying, “I want our associates to know that there really is a guy named Marriott who cares about them.”
In closing, Bill addressed the question of what the biggest challenge is today in the hotel industry. He answered that it is the things that we cannot control, and by that I mean terrorism or things such as the zika virus.
See the complete interview here.
eTN is a media partner for WTTC.