Marriott focuses on human resources as part of growth strategy


Marriott International would prioritise workforce training as part of its sustainable growth strategy this year, a senior company executive said.

Jakob Helgen, area vice president – Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, Marriott International, said during an interview on Tuesday that aside from signing more management contracts with hotel owners in Thailand as planned, the company aims to improve its professional training programme. 

The company, one of the world's leading luxury hospitality companies, would offer reasonable salaries and incentives, as well as equal opportunity in promotions to attract newcomers while keeping current skilled employees, he said.

His commitment came as Thailand's hospitality industry showed signs of recovery after being stagnant for more than three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many hotels are dealing with a serious shortage of labour in an industry that is extremely labour intensive, Helgen said.

Employers, particularly in the luxury hotel segment, have to rely heavily on their employees to deliver premium services and provide the hotel's unique value.

Higher wages and service charges may meet employees' basic needs, but that does not address all aspects of their career path, he said.

"We want to be the most cherished hotel for employees, as well as the best option for our customers," he said.

This year, Helgen confirmed that cooperation with local educational institutions, both vocational college and university, would be strengthened.

Marriott will play a greater role in course development while also providing training opportunities for interested students. Marriott also plans to expand the number of young trainees recruited from underprivileged families who could later become full-time employees.

To address the young generation's expectations, Marriott provides equal opportunities for them to advance to leadership status if they want to advance in this career path via Marriott's leadership programme, Helgen said.

He believes that providing opportunities for education and training to improve staff skills is one of the most effective ways to sustain the hotel business. It is not only in terms of long-term company growth, but also in terms of enhancing the whole eco-friendly ecosystem, he said.

Marriott International had earlier announced plans to open eight new hotels in Thailand in 2023, with the debut of two new brands — Autograph Collection Hotels and Moxy Hotels — aiming to blend with the rise of mixed business and leisure trips.

"We aim to provide more options for extended stay for our customers with all of the amenities of a home away from home. We also expect the opening of Courtyard by Marriott and Moxy Hotels to add to the country's existing select service portfolio. These new openings will provide distinct value for travellers by providing all-exclusive hospitality services at an affordable price," Helgen said.

Marriott International current operates properties across 14 brands in more than 10 Thai destinations, including Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Khao Lak, Koh Samui. Under the plan, by the end of this year Marriott will have 16 brands with 56 hotels and executive apartments across the country.