The Jakarta Post
Jakarta-based meeting planners and Marriott International hotels representatives mark Global Meetings Industry Day held at The Westin Jakarta on April 4. (The Westin Jakarta/File)
The Westin Jakarta recently acted as host to 30 Marriott International hotels across Indonesia with Jakarta-based meeting planners.
The B2B event was held to celebrate Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) on April 4, which aimed to highlight the impact of the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) industry on people, businesses and communities.
John Wooley, general manager of Courtyard by Marriott Bali Seminyak Resort and chairman of GMID 2019, said, “Marriott is a big supporter of this event and the meeting industry because it is so important for us hoteliers. A few months ago, we realized there was not an event being planned in Jakarta, and the city is an extremely important venue for Marriott.”
“About 20 percent of our business goes to the meeting industry. We’re really happy to support the industry whichever way we can,” he added.
According to Arun Kumar, general manager of The Westin Jakarta, Marriott also took part in promoting Indonesia’s destinations.
“We’ve had several videos, for instance, showcasing Yogyakarta, Belitung and Lombok. We are interested in how we can amplify the marketing effort to market Indonesia, along with what the Tourism Ministry does. The Wonderful Indonesia campaign is a great one, but we need to further support the destinations. I think Lake Toba is one of the untapped potential destinations,” he said.
Puspa Rianti, director of sales and marketing of The Stones hotel in Bali, noted that Yogyakarta had become a very popular destination for the MICE industry.
Wooley concluded that Marriott itself needed to reinvent the hotels as a destination.
“What we can’t do is to have simple meeting rooms, boring events. What we need to do is completely enhance the meeting experience. For example, we deliver something different in terms of meetings, such as bringing food trucks next to the meeting room or rather than using chairs, we put bean bags into the meeting rooms,” he said.
Kumar added, “Jakarta as a destination is not marketed well enough. Business people usually come on Monday and leave on Thursday. It’s still been the same for many years, and that is something we have to look at a little differently and how we are going to help change that perception.”