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COVER STORY: Tailor-made Guest Experiences. A Dialogue with Hugo Zhang. General Manager, Renaissance Tianjin Lakeview Hotel & The Lakeview, Tianjin-Marriott Executive Apartments
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Tailor-made Guest Experiences
A Dialogue with Hugo Zhang
General Manager, Renaissance Tianjin Lakeview Hotel &
The Lakeview, Tianjin-Marriott Executive Apartments

By Bethany Marshall

AVA 7112R 600x900      每个出门在外的人,都希望在万家灯火点亮的夜晚,能拥有一份宾至如归的亲切和温暖。对于商务人士而言,还需要一个可以专注于工作的环境;对于家庭旅客而言,方便家人休闲娱乐的空间同样重要。如果你来到天津,希望能找到满足以上几点的酒店,不妨选择万丽天津宾馆。这里位置优越,交通便利;美食美景兼具,你可以享用中西美食,尽览东湖风光;与此同时,更有一支专业的服务团队,在万丽天津宾馆暨天津万豪行政公寓总经理张振宇先生的带领下,恭迎您的光临。

      张总自1993年初入酒店行业,至今已逾25年,每天都会迎来形形色色的客人,和他们共同经历身在异乡的点点滴滴。如何让每位客人感受到宾至如归的入住体验,成了他每天最重要的课题。他说,正是在这种不断探索的过程中得到的每一位客人给与的肯定和认可,使他收获了莫大的幸福,同时自我价值的不断实现,更让他意识到这将是自己愿意一生为之不懈奋斗的事业目标。


      谈及万丽酒店带给宾客的感受,张总表示,万丽酒店品牌将商务旅行视为难得的探索良机,每次入住都是对传统商旅体验的颠覆。趣意、地道、独特(Intriguing, Indigenous, Independent),围绕着万丽品牌的核心价值观,导航员们将会引领每一位客人发掘本地的奇妙惊喜,在大堂吧尽享美食美景与音乐的多重体验,深入体味正宗的本地生活或是一些民间艺术,让旅客——也就是探索者们,能够尽享闲暇之余的美妙时光。

      除了酒店,张总还主理天津万豪行政公寓——“You don’t stay here, you live here”,这里更像是客人的家。无论是环境、设施还是服务,万豪行政公寓都会让客人感受到家一般的温馨。客人进出公寓时总会收到前台同事家人般的亲切问候,客人遇到需要帮助和解决的问题也会第一时间想起前台的同事。每个月组织的公寓客人聚会,可以让他们彼此熟悉,逐步由邻居变为好友,使这里像一个大家庭一样和睦,温馨。

      每位不凡的领导者身上,都有其独有的特质或经历。张总同样如此。谈及成功经验,他说真正能给企业带来源源不断发展动力的是市场份额稳步提升和忠诚而富有经验的人力基础,这一切都离不开万豪集团不忘初心,“以人为本”的核心价值观,“我们照顾好我们的员工,我们的员工就会照顾好我们的客人,我们的客人就会再次回来“,在酒店全体员工的共同努力之下,用了仅仅5个月的时间就实现了酒店全年的预算指标, 宾客整体满意度分数超最高目标12分,社交媒体认可度全年上升14名,员工满意度调查超出目标6%。

      随着国家经济的不断发展,天津旅游业也有非常好的发展趋势。不论是两年一届的夏季达沃斯论坛,还是去年举办的全运会、“一带一路”会议、矿业大会,又或者是刚刚结束的智能大会,这么多大型的会议活动均选择了天津这座城市,由此可见天津的发展潜力,也在一定程度上促进了旅宿业的发展。张总认为,作为一座城市对外交流的窗口,这种不断开放的市场环境对业内人员来讲既是机遇也是挑战,酒店仍须不断发展、提升自己的服务品质,以应对蓬勃发展的天津市场。


      一个人的工作能力往往是综合能力的体现,张总在工作之余也有很多的兴趣爱好。其中最喜欢的还是品尝各个国家及地区的美食美酒,并分享给自己的团队,从中激发出更多新鲜的灵感并产生新颖的创意。除此之外,他提到读书的重要性。“读万卷书,行万里路,识万般人也丰富了我工作之余的闲暇生活”。未来,他希望能有更多的时间陪伴家人。

万丽天津宾馆Being from Tianjin himself and having a clear passion for quality customer service, Mr Zhang is more than capable of guiding his associates in giving guests that authentic local experience. He combines his 25 years experience in the business with fresh ideas to truly make his guests feel at home. Business Tianjin spoke to him to discuss future promotions, core values and the importance of being able to embrace change.

Can you tell us how you started off in the hospitality industry and what made you realize that this was the career you wanted to pursue?

I have been working in the hotel industry for almost 25 years. I joined the Sheraton Tianjin Hotel straight from university.
 

Everyday our hotel welcomes a variety of guests and we are constantly asking ourselves, ‘how do we make each guest feel at home?’ During my 25 years experience, I have always been left thinking how to meet customer requirements, how to leave them feeling satisfied, and how to go above and beyond their expectations. It’s during this time, that I have gained great satisfaction from the recognition of each guest and this realization of self-worth led me to the conclusion that this is the cause I would like to work for.

COVER 7134 900x600Take us through the luxurious Renaissance Tianjin Lakeview Hotel & the Lakeview, Tianjin -Marriott Executive Apartments. What would your guest experience upon entering your door right until they check out?

Renaissance brand views business travel as a rare opportunity to explore and so each stay is a different take on the traditional business experience. Upon arrival, guests are received and shown round by a member of navigator. Just by looking at its core values, ‘intriguing, indigenous, independent’, you can see that we deliver different experiences for different customers every time. Take our lobby lounge, for example. We have different weekly activities. Sometimes it’s opera, like the Beijing Opera, and sometimes there are clay figures or local folk art to give to travelers. We are all about allowing our guests to experience authentic local culture and cuisine.

“You don’t stay here, you live here.” Marriott Executive Apartments are more like the guest’s home. Whether it is the environment, the facilities or the service, they all contribute to allowing our guests to feel that homely warmth. When guests enter or leave the apartment, they always receive warm greetings from our colleagues at the front desk. If at any point they need any help, our guests will remember that those friendly faces are their first point of call.
 

Every month there are different parties and activities to allow our guests to get to know each other. For example, last month we took guests to the Great Wall, this month we will go fishing and next month, we may have a BBQ. It all depends on the season as to what activity takes place. At first, the guests just get to know each other but then they often become good friends. We are like a big family here.

Lakeview Suite Living RoomAre there any special events coming up?

Yes, we are holding an event called the ‘GDOD’ on June 5th. That means ‘Global Day of Discovery’. Every year Renaissance Hotels in more than 35 countries will participate in this annual celebration where all of our hotels around the world come together to dare travelers to make the business of travel a little less usual and discover the soul of neighborhoods around the globe.

This time we have arranged 30 guests to go to Tianjin Ancient Culture Street. We will have a “discovery” of a famous Tianjin traditional folk art “Clay Figurine Zhang” (泥人张) and make a clay figure accompanying by a teacher.

AVA 6956 900x600What special promotions can we find in the hotel?

Every month our restaurant has different promotional offers. At the moment, every Friday and Saturday evening we have promotions on BBQ and lobster. The lobster is ‘all you can eat’. Eating as much as you can for a set price is hard to find in Tianjin. The guests love it. There is also a tomahawk* steak menu which includes a set menu for 3-4 people. You only need to pay for the price of the beef - salad, soup, and snacks are all free. We have set menus for different ages, different styles, and different prices as guests in this age are all about exploring different tastes. Not only these, but we have also prepared 2 kinds of rice dumpling gift box for the Dragon Boat Festival. One is inclusive of 8 rice dumplings and 1 bottle of wine, one is homemade rice dumpling in Zhaoqing style.

R Lakeview BLD 30What do you consider as being your most meaningful career highlights and your proudest achievements?

There are many truly happy moments but I cannot call that as proud moments. The SPG Group and the Intercontinental Hotels Group have allowed me to share in their successes. In half a year, we met the targets for the whole year’s budget. Our quality of service has been praised too, and we received a high of 12 points from the GSS (guest satisfaction survey), jumped up 14 places on TripAdvisor and even increased our ESS (employee satisfaction survey) by 6%. ‘If we take good care of our associates, they’ll take good care of our customers and the customers will come back.’ One of our core value is ‘putting people first’ and we know that our guests are the foundation of the Marriott International. We never forget what we are aspiring to achieve.

Restaurant New Dynasty PDR 2595Apart from TripAdvisor, where else can we find the Renaissance Tianjin Lakeview Hotel?

At Ctrip, Booking.com, Agoda and we also have our own official website. Last year, Marriott International established a joint venture with Alibaba Group named “Fliggy” to redefine the travel experience for the travelers from all around world. We must ‘embrace change’ in order to stay current.
 

What role did you play in the hotel’s recent success? How do you motivate your team?

As I said before, we have 5 core values. We put people first. ‘If we take good care of our associates, they’ll take good care of our customers and the customers will come back.’ right? So that is where the success comes from. We pursue excellence, so we go that extra mile. We embrace change. We act with integrity. We serve our world. How we do business is as important as the business we do. We have our team and they are fully supported so I think it is a joint effort. We all have the same goal.

Grand Ball RoomWhat are your thoughts on Tianjin’s growth and potential with regard to tourism? Do you think Tianjin is on its way to becoming a major player in the world hospitality circuit?

Tianjin has 600 years of history but recently the tourism industry has been developing fast. In recent years, more and more people are coming to stay in Tianjin during holidays such as Labor Day, Tomb Sweeping Festival, and even at weekends. Well-known events are also playing their part. Every two years Davos is held in Tianjin, we have had the Belt and Road Initiative, the World Intelligence Congress and just last year we saw the National Games take place here which chairman Mr Xi attended and even had a meeting in this very hotel. This hotel is fast becoming a window to the outside world and so there are bound to be many challenges that we will have to overcome.

EZ1A8463What challenges do you think the open marketing environment will pose on the quality of service?

In the past few years, many hotels have opened in Tianjin. The habits of guests aren’t the same as they were before. In such a scenario, what would be our requirements? Embrace change. For example, the hotel has been open 8 years and they already need to change the carpet in the lobby. They will also have to make changes to the floors, to the wallpaper etc. Regarding customer service, we will have to adapt and improve to provide greater associate support.
 

MEA Tianjin Lakeview ExteriorPlease tell us your preferences and hobbies that you pursue during your leisure and free time.

I like to experience different food and wine. My colleagues and I often share our experiences and give each other suggestions. I also enjoy reading but I live by the proverb that knowledge comes from books, and from experience of the world. So, I do both.
 

How does your experience of travelling influence your ability to cater to guests and make them feel more at home?

We have a saying here, it’s ‘show empathy’. We respect that each and every guest has their own religion. For example, those from the northwest may have a different belief and we commit to meeting each guest’s requirements. Each guest experience is tailor-made.
 

Thank you so much for your time, Mr Zhang. We were touched by your modesty with regard to your success and how thoughtfully you cater not only to your guests, but also to your team. We look forward to hearing about events at the Renaissance Tianjin Lakeview Hotel in future, thank you!

* The tomahawk steak is cut from the fore-rib with the entire rib left attached.

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