Across the world, Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) will be celebrating its ever-increasing customer base with a week-long festival of community engagement, known as Global Customer Appreciation Week (GCAW), from October 28 until November 1.
Since its inception in 1996, Marriott International executives and sales staff worldwide have taken time out from their busy schedules to call guests and thank them for their patronage, and get involved in charitable endeavors. In the Middle East and Africa, from Kuwait to Algeria, GCAW involves a list of events designed to make Marriott International associates and customers ‘see the world in a whole new way’ – the tagline of the scheme.
Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director of Marriott International, Middle East and Africa, said: “As the company grows across the Middle East and Africa, we are acutely aware that the regional hospitality sector is highly competitive; guests are highly sophisticated and have a choice of where to dine, drink and stay. The Global Customer Appreciation Week is simply a chance for us to personally thank our guests and customers, and to give something back to the communities we live and work in.”
GCAW activities are taking place right across the region. In Kuwait the JW Marriott will take pleasure in hosting an executive launch where 100 top level clients will be gifted with Bill Marriott’s iconic Without Reservations book, which shares the incredible and quintessentially American success story of his family and their profound impact on the global hospitality industry. In addition to this, 20 associates will pay a visit to the location Children’s Hospital for cancer patients and gift them with a home-cooked lunch. Over in Algeria the charitable theme continues as executives distribute toys to children at a local hospital while cocktail receptions and calls will be hosted for key customers.
In Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE the efforts continue as breakfasts, brunches and lunches for top customers are hosted. Additional initiatives include senior associates driving blood donations, cleaning up local beaches and cities, assisting traffic police and even hosting sports tournaments.
“Whilst this week is fun, it also allows us to pause for a moment and consider some of the sectors of the community less fortunate than ourselves. Marriott International is globally renowned as a great place to work and for its commitment to diversity, social responsibility and community engagement and our Global Customer Appreciation Week activities are testament to that,” added Alex Kyriakidis.
Marriott International manages 12,237 rooms across 44 properties in the Middle East and Africa region – and these numbers are set to double over the next five years with 48 new hotels in the pipeline, adding 11,567 rooms to the regional portfolio. The group is in the process of recruiting an additional 12,000 employees. The company’s regional commitment to growth is backed by the most recent figures from the UNWTO – the World Tourism Organisation – revealing a four per cent growth in tourists visiting Africa and an incredible growth in tourists of 13 per cent visiting the Middle East in the first nine months of 2013.