Macau Opportunities

Six-star experience

by Jacky Wong

Grant Burt (left), general manager of human resources, Crown Macau
Paul Town, general manager
Crown Towers
Photo: Johnny Kwok

Top hotel extends its brand to Asia

Officially launched in May this year, Crown Macau adds a new dimension to the region's thriving hospitality industry with its unique six-star hotel experience.

Located on Taipa Island, the 36-storey Crown Macau complex includes a multi-level casino with 220 gaming tables, more than 500 slot machines, luxurious private salons, numerous restaurants and a deluxe spa and wellness facility. It also houses the Crown Towers hotel, featuring 216 sizable standard guest rooms. Crown Macau builds on the achievements of Crown in Melbourne, Australia, where it has successfully developed a strong brand name.

Asian high rollers

Paul Town, general manager of Crown Towers says the hotel's primary markets are high-end segments from Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Southern China region including Beijing and Shanghai, while its secondary market covers other Asian countries like Malaysia, Japan and Singapore. The hotel also targets travel agents that focus on Asian markets.

The hotel's business strategy is to provide customers with a unique six-star hotel experience which can be defined by its high quality customer services, elegant facilities and rich decor, and premium entertainment that is unsurpassed by other venues in Macau. This is in line with Crown Melbourne, where 30 to 40 per cent of the clients come from Asia. "Crown Melbourne's business success has been built on its six-star proposition of top quality customer service, which have made it the best hotel in town for years," Mr Town says.

Crown Macau has distinguished itself with a unique and lavish design created by world-renowned, award-winning interior designer Peter Remedios. It combines comfort and elegance with exceptionally personalised service in spacious and luxurious surroundings.

Promoting its May launch, the hotel has used a series of branding exercises. One of the most pervasive, its "Where great things happen" campaign, spearheaded by a television commercial featuring famous actor Chow Yun-fat, has been broadcast on major channels in Hong Kong, Macau and Southern China. The hotel is also strengthening networks with travel agents on the mainland and in Hong Kong and plans to offer seasonal travel packages to reach potential customers abroad.

Crown careers

Mr Town believes the arrival of more upscale hotels in Macau in the future will drive the growth of the industry and increase demand from customers for good quality hospitality service. "The hospitality market in Macau will remain highly competitive. Every hotel in the market will have its unique position allowing different experiences to customers," he says.

Facing a labour shortage, some newly developed hotels are reacting by offering bloated remuneration packages to recruit industry veterans. Grant Burt, general manager of human resources at Crown Macau, says that Crown is attracting the best talent with its brand and career development opportunities. "We also reward good performance," he says. The hotel currently employs around 4,000 staff, including more than 3,200 Macau residents and recruits from overseas countries such as Hong Kong and mainland China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia.

Overseas recruits are provided with relocation subsidies, and benefits and packages are compatible with those offered by other hotels. Mr Burt says Macau has number of attractions for expatriates such as the dynamic growth of the hotel and gaming industries, which provides opportunities for career development. Macau's low tax rate and cultural experiences also help to bring people to the enclave, while Crown Macau's brand name, comprehensive training and promotion opportunities make it a sought after employer.

Crown Macau began an aggressive recruitment drive in November 2006 and received several thousand applications. Mr Burt says people are eager to work at Crown Macau because of its six-star status which offers the chance to serve the high-end market segments. Its international management team and the hotel's work-life balance philosophy also provide a progressive and favourable work environment for employees to develop careers in the industry.

Crown Macau constantly aims to improve its quality service by providing staff with training that builds technical and customer service skills. Internships programmes are also offered to students at academic institutions in Macau to help the hotel recruit outstanding graduates in the long term.

"We want Crown Macau to be a hotel which is always rated for having the best service," Mr Burt says. Staff training is relevant to employees' daily work, ranging from customer services to computer skills, and languages to on-the-job training. Supervisory staff undergo train-the-trainer programmes while new recruits at frontline departments are required to attend a two-day induction programme in which they are taught to give smiles — something the hotel considers an essential part of customer service.

Upscale hotel

  • Targets high-end gaming market
  • Promote high quality customer services
  • Feature elegant facilities and contemporary decor
  • Successful formula gives an Asian twist
  • Initiate brand building activities
  • Recruit people with vision in the industry

Taken from Career Times 13 July 2007
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