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COVER STORY: A Highly Motivated Team Can Achieve The Impossible, Talk with Javier Gimeno, General Manager of Renaissance Tianjin TEDA Convention Center Hotel & Marriott Executive Apartments TEDA-Tianjin
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A Highly Motivated Team
Can Achieve The Impossible

A Talk with Javier Gimeno,

General Manager of Renaissance Tianjin TEDA Convention Center Hotel & Marriott Executive Apartments TEDA-Tianjin

By Oshani Silva

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      天津经济技术开发区是目前天津经济发展的主力之一,也是世界投资业瞩目的热点地区,该区不仅吸引了各类工业企业,酒店服务业在这里也蓬勃发展。作为酒店业的龙头之一,万豪集团也在泰达地区拥有自己的酒店品牌,今天,我们就将随天津万丽泰达酒店及会议中心与万豪行政公寓的总经理何民乐(Javier Gimeno) 先生一起走近天津泰达万丽酒店。


      何民乐先生先后曾在万豪酒店内的多个不同管理岗位上就职,对万豪如数家珍。天津泰达万丽酒店拥有超过300间客房,其中包括50间套房,而开设两年之久的万豪行政公寓则带给旅客家一般的感觉,适合长期住宿需求的客人或来到此地度假的家庭使用。同时这两个部分共同分享酒店的主要设施,功能齐全。为保证酒店的服务品质,何先生极其注重员工培训,他说这是保持团队工作符合标准的关键。作为总经理,何先生与团队一起团结合作,打造高度热情积极的团队,为客户提供更优质的服务。


      目前,酒店非常关注本地及海外的企业业务,同时也注意到市民到滨海地区休闲旅游的需求。在为顾客提供更便捷的服务方面,万丽酒店顺应趋势,开通了使用手机办理入住与退房的功能,同时支持支付宝和微信支付。


      在谈及现阶段面临的挑战时,何先生说天津近来新兴酒店不断增加,迫使他们自身不断加强、更新酒店设施,以在激烈的市场竞争中争取到市场份额。对于天津地区在旅游方面的增长和市场潜力,何先生表示政府在基础设施建设方面加强了投资,酒店在城市发展中发挥着重要作用。天津滨海新区近年来保持着快速发展的迅猛势头,“我们希望政府能吸引更多公司企业来到这里,帮助提升泰达新区的酒店需求”。


      天津经济技术开发区正在快速发展,挑战与机遇并存,我们必须与时俱进,满怀信心克服挑战,共筑天津美好的明天。

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TEDA is leading investment spot in Asia-Pacific and this month we sit down with the top executive of one of the best international hotels in the region, Mr. Javier Gimeno, to get a glimpse into what the future holds for Renaissance Tianjin TEDA Convention Center Hotel.

FOJV0994 600You have been in management positions of different Marriott hotels from May 2014. What has been your biggest challenge in terms of being ahead of your competitors?

Our biggest challenge so far has been keeping up with the growing supply of newer hotels that Tianjin has been experiencing in the recent years. This has forced our properties and other market players to enhance and update our facilities to be able to fight for our fair share of the market in Tianjin. In case of Renaissance Tianjin TEDA we decided to convert over 200 hotel rooms into Marriott Executive Apartments (MEA) to accommodate the growing needs of suitable extended stays quality facilities in TEDA.
 

Renaissance Tianjin TEDA Convention Center Hotel has over 300 rooms including over 50 suites. You also manage the Marriott Executive Apartments TEDA-Tianjin that is an annex to the hotel. What are the advantages of each option?

Both products share the main facilities of the hotel which is the greatest advantage for all our guests. The Hotel side offers very spacious rooms in a more classic set up that fits perfectly with the needs of our business travellers staying for one or two nights. Marriott Executive Apartments TEDA-Tianjin offers a distinctive home feeling with trendy decoration, full equipped kitchen and several room options from studios to 3 bedroom apartments ideal for the extended-stay guest that usually spend over 4 nights or the long-staying guest that will make MEA their permanent residence for their journey in Tianjin.

hl cover01How do you maintain the quality that the Marriott is renowned for?

The key is consistent training for our associates, Marriott has a great training program that we deliver to our teams. There are self-training tools which they have access to as well. On board training is given to new associates so they can understand and live the culture of our brands. This is key to keep our teams updated on our standards so they can deliver the best services to our guests.
 

FOJV0994 400Who is your main market target in terms of guests?

We mainly focus on corporate business both local and foreign for the hotel and a mix of corporate, mostly foreigners and local leisure for our MEA. We noticed that for the most part of this year over the weekends and long holidays families have started to come back to Binhai and explore the attractions in this area.
 

Could you describe the facilities of your hotel to cater to the specific needs of foreign customers?

Our facilities are not specifically meant for foreign customers. We cater to local and foreign corporate guests as well as families. Last April we launched Kid’s land with a giant inflatable slide in our pool, a bouncing castle and hammocks in our newly opened garden and games in our Brasserie restaurant.
 

Your hotel is located in Binhai, an up and coming financial hub in Tianjin. How do you think your location influences your business interests?

Binhai has been developing rapidly over the past years and continues to do so in areas like Yujiapu. We expect the government to attract more companies and corporations to set foot here to help increase the demand for hotel rooms in TEDA area. Our location is ten minutes away from the financial zone and in the center of the city and this will give us a competitive advantage over the new players.
 

How would you describe your management style?

I am demanding and hands-on as a manager and team player, I expect a lot from me and the teams I work with, to be able to deliver the highest level of service possible to our customers. And I truly believe that with a highly motivated team we can achieve the impossible.
 

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What are your thoughts on Tianjin’s growth and potential with regards to tourism? Do you think Tianjin is on its way to be a major player in the world hospitality circuit?

The government has invested heavily in infrastructure and the city is ready to assume a major role in the hospitality business. Some major events are already happening with the support of the tourism department.
 

hl cover02Technology has become and ever evolving factor and is spanning itself to the hotel industry as well. How has your hotel embraced this and what special facilities do you offer your guests?

China I believe has grown faster than any other country in terms of using cell phone applications as a mode of communication and payment. As such we adapted ourselves to be able to cater to these needs, thus allowing our customers to do mobile check-in and check-out or simply pay their bills through Alipay or Wechat.
 

What trends in the hospitality industry are you most encouraged by?

We are in the business of taking care of people and delivering unforgettable experiences. So the trend that most encourages me is the continuous search of ways to set and create these experiences which will allow us to exceed guest expectations.
 

TP 201707 cover 2What are some of the challenges you face being in the hospitality scene in Tianjin?

The major challenge that we are facing at the moment is the excess availability of hotel rooms. The number of hotels in Tianjin has grown faster than the demand the market can produce and we will have to find ways to attract more people to visit and stay in Tianjin.
 

Tell us more about the dining experience you offer to your guests?

We recently launched our Sunday Brunch with a great selection of international food and wine prepared by our new culinary team together with our kid’s land activities that offers kid’s cooking classes and much more. On Saturday nights we have a clown show for the kids while parents enjoy our Seafood buffet. We also offer a daily executive set lunch for busy guests that need a quick quality bite before going to work.
 

Your staff plays a vital role in making sure that the hotel runs smoothly. When recruiting staff what are the characteristics you look out for? What are the qualities that stand out in potential candidates?

Finding the right people to work in our industry has become more challenging. Personally I look forward to hiring a candidate with the right attitude more than the educational background or previous experiences. We can train skills but we cannot train to have the right attitude in life so that will be key characteristic to look for.
 

Please tell us something about your renowned Marriott Executive Apartments TEDA-Tianjin services.

It has been only two years since we opened our Marriott Executive Apartments TEDA-Tianjin. We have been the first choice for guests looking at extended stays in TEDA and for local families on weekend getaways. This has helped us achieve high occupancy levels. We are ranked number one on the Tripdavisor rating for Tianjin. I believe we have the best set up and quality in TEDA and we will continue to improve our services in this success story.
 

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What are the up and coming events here at the Renaissance TEDA?

The major event we are having even if it is not in TEDA itself this year, is our 8th Marriott Annual North China Golf Charity Tournament in support of Yao Ming Foundation that will be followed by a Charity Gala Dinner next October. And in TEDA, following our Take Care wellbeing activities, we will be organizing a Fund Run to raise money for the local charity. We hope that you will be able to join us in helping our community.
 

Thanks to Mr. Gimeno for his contribution. TEDA is developing at a rapid pace. To remain relevant in this ever changing business landscape we must learn to adapt. Many challenges lie ahead but we are confident that we can overcome them. We are looking forward to what this amazing city has in store for us in future.
 

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