Managing and Marketing Sheraton’s Complex in Shanghai

Joe McClain - Mar 30, 2009
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John William Robert O'Shea, general manager of Sheraton Shanghai Hotel & Residences, Pudong, and Four Points by Sheraton Shanghai, Pudong, is an Australian native. With more than 30 years experience in the hospitality industry he has held prominent positions in a number of hotels in Fiji, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Japan.

What are the special features of Sheraton Shanghai Hotel & Residences, Pudong, and Four Points by Sheraton Shanghai, Pudong?
As the only complex hotel in the City, Sheraton Shanghai Hotel & Residences, Pudong, and Four Points by Sheraton Shanghai, Pudong, is ideally situated in the Lujiazui financial and trade district of Pudong and provides an easy access to the city's central business district and places of interest as well as fabulous views of the Huangpu River. Our two luxury hotels and the upscale Residences forms part of the best living area in Pudong with shopping malls, restaurants, bars around and the Shanghai Metro station Line Four is right in front of the hotel. This ideal location is next to Nanpu Bridge and our complex is the closest international hotel to the site of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

We have: over 4,600 square meters of premium meeting and banquet facilities; 1,000 beautifully appointed guest rooms all with natural daylight, signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Beds and a 32-inch LCD flat screen T; a variety of dining and wining pleasures are available at our eight restaurants and bars; the indoor heated pool and whirlpool, which are the perfect places to relax; as well as the unforgettable spa facilities. All these make ours the hotel of choice for meetings, conferences, weddings, and events of any size.

How do you position your hotel in the market? What is your strategic plan for average RevPAR?
We position the complex as a single entity that has a five-star product, a four-star product and a luxury extended stay property. This provides choices for our customers which no other hotel in Shanghai is able to offer. For example if we do have a large MICE event, we can accommodate the different levels of customers in one complex and at the same time, they are able to take advantage of the Starwood Loyalty Programs and experience the international warm hospitality for which we are known.

What do you expect the percentage composition of your guests will be?
Corporate contributes approximately 85% of our total business whilst the remaining 15% comes from our leisure segment.

What are your plans on online marketing and promotion?
As more and more guests are making their travel arrangements online, we ensure the information and pictures we have in the web are up-to date and periodic offers and packages are always available.

Many large hotels are now focusing on the business development of the MICE sector. What special plans do you have for expanding the MICE market?
We have a dedicated MICE team that handles all our events from the start to the end as this makes it most convenient for our customers to do business with us. Additionally, the various Starwood loyalty programs that reward our MICE organizers and guests create a big difference for our loyal guests.

How is corporate social responsibility reflected in your daily operations?
Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Worldwide Inc. makes it a commitment that the hotels support the community in which they operate and this is done on a long term basis. We make it a point to source our products locally as a priority and to hire local talent. On-going training and opportunities are available at all times to every associate in the complex as we believe in growing our talents internally.

How do you and your team face the post-Olympic environment in 2009 and the difficulties that result from the international financial crisis?
The post-Olympic situation is temporary and when the travel restrictions were lifted, business came back to Shanghai pretty quickly. The current global financial crisis is something that affects every single continent and corporations are more prudent in selecting hotels. We are working closely with all our global sales offices to tap new markets.

What preparations are Sheraton Shanghai Hotel & Residences, Pudong and Four Points by Sheraton Shanghai, Pudong start making for the Shanghai World Expo 2010?
Sheraton Shanghai Hotel and Residences, Pudong and the Four Points by Sheraton Shanghai, Pudong played host to the third World Expo Meeting in November 2008 and this event was attended by dignitaries from home and abroad, all organizers of the pavilions and various corporations involved.

We are working closely with the World Expo committee for all smaller events and banquets; and also with Hubs1, which is the official appointed operator, to have information on our complex uploaded onto their websites.

The article used with permission from China Hospitality News

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