President for the Caribbean and Latin America Region Marriott International
Traveling to as many places as possible is a dream set in the minds of human beings. Doing it right is a skill acquired through practice. Tim Sheldon, President for the Caribbean and Latin America Region of Marriott International, visited Quito a few days ago and shared with us some wonderful insights to make smart travellers of us all.
First piece of advice: become “bleisure” travellers to make the best out of every trip. “This is a new trend”, he said. “We see that people are combining business trips with leisure, and that´s where the term comes from. Occupation at this hotel is a good combination of this. A fare share of business travellers combined with considerable leisure costumers, much of which are affiliated with the visitors to the Galapagos Islands, stay here”.
Tim walks the talk. He is an example of the bleisure traveller. He came to Quito for work, but arrived a few days early so he could spend the weekend visiting the city before concentrating on the job. His next stop is Guayaquil, where he will also arrive early to, guess what, combine business with pleasure! More than that, he has his own personal undercover assistant staying at the hotel: his wife. She has learned a lot about the hospitality industry and pays attention to details to provide him with honest feedback.
Tim has been President for the Caribbean and Latin America Region for almost two years, but he used to run global operations for Marriott, and has travelled to nearly 70 countries. When he says “Ecuador is fantastic”, I truly believe him. “What you see in pictures is amazing, but you don´t really understand how fascinating Ecuador is until you are here, on the roads, looking up at the mountains and the incredible blue sky, visiting the lowlands and meeting indigenous people”.
Second piece of advice: check out if your hotel is relevant for local travellers, because locals will know how good it is. “One of our goals implies seeing things from the local perspective to be able to respond to experiences guests might have when they come in and stay, or not stay, the night. They can enjoy the spa, swimming pool and the privileges of the membership cards. The restaurants and lounges at JW Marriott Quito are very appealing to locals, because we have learned that if they are, our international guests will love it.
Third piece of advice: look for a hotel that walks the extra mile for you. “Marriott invested several million dollars into a company called Place Pass. If you go to that link and type Quito, well over 100 experiences will show up with things that you can do when you travel here, all of which are amazing. This level of engagement makes us part of this community. The hotel business goes way beyond having clean sheets and towels, people expect that so we excel in that, but we also want to make sure that we are exploring the local opportunities as well, that we are giving that extra mile, and that we are doing it right.”