Appointment Likely to Spur Creation of a Perfect Market Mix & Better Share
|Bernhard A. Brender, General Manager of the Millennium Seoul Hilton|
A global hotelier guru Bernhard A. Brender who has served as general manager of several leading hotels in Seoul over the last 14 years including the Sheraton Walker Hill, Westin Chosun, Hotel Seokyo, and Four Points took the helm of the Millennium Seoul as of September 1, 2004.
On taking up his new post, the new general manager told The Korea IT Times, "I am proud to say that the owner of CDL, the acquirer of the Seoul Hilton, has entrusted me with managing, leading and guiding this enterprise into a stable future, and in a manner beneficial for all parties concerned."
Having worked for the Starwood Hotels (the Sheraton and the Westin brands) for over 16 years, Mr. Brender noted that he has always admired the Hilton Honors System and the chain's quality of service.
Pointing out that the hotel had its name changed from "Seoul Hilton" to "Millennium Seoul Hilton" January 1, 2004, Mr. Brender emphasized that the two both brands are powerful and create the perfect match. Furthermore, he said, "Our publicity remains focused on brand service standards, working to gather and enhance great service, to every guest, every day. Foremost in our minds is finding new ways to create a hassle-free experience, thereby creating loyalty on the part of the guest."
With regard to competition from residences that are gaining popularity among long-stay businesspeople, Mr. Brender assessed that while such residences are creating a new concept of the hospitality industry by providing home-like amenities such as a kitchen and a snug room. Meanwhile, deluxe hotels like the Millennium Seoul Hilton provide businesspeople with a more and better service and security.
In particular, the general manager stressed that the hotel will devote more efforts to securing the no. 1 market position on the basis of its strengths such as its great location, nestled around Namsan Mountain, great and popular facilities and experienced hotel employees. Furthermore, he says, "As a true leader in the hotel industry, the Millennium Seoul attaches the utmost importance and priority to building trust among its clientele."
Mr. Brender's appointment is likely to give impetus to the Millennium Seoul Hilton in reaching its given goals and objectives for this year, while building a strong foundation for next year's performance and beyond.
Unlike other hotels, the Millennium Seoul Hilton is doing well despite the slow economy thanks to the hotel's name value as well as its excellent facilities including its famous banqueting rooms.
The following is an interview with the new general manager of the Millennium Seoul Hilton, Bernhard A. BrenderQ: First off, where do you put your priority in managing an international chain hotel like the Millennium HiltonA:
Without any doubt, the safety and security factor these days is the foremost priority to which we must attend before we look to the necessary comforts for our guests.
A hotel is a place where people meet for business and pleasure. So for me, the ideal approach is to provide a safe, comfortable and efficient "home away from home." Everybody is welcome and must feel welcome and important. Regardless of whether you are responsible for a five-star hotel in the city or manage an inn in the countryside we share the same responsibility of providing a safe place for our guests to eat, rest or sleep.
Based on such a concept, the business strategy for the Millennium Seoul Hilton this year is to create the perfect market mix and gain a better and more favorable market share. Q: I understand that the Millennium Seoul Hilton has the largest convention center in Asia to be able to accommodate large-scale conferences. Could you elaborate on the events to be slated in the Millennium HiltonA:
Sooner or later, we must implement our strategy to upgrade our Convention Center so we can accommodate two weddings at the same time. We also plan to bring in some well-known singers from home and abroad.
We are currently seeing the realization of the Center's growth potential and we have are exploiting new opportunities to boost quality and generate high-yield conferences and meetings.
For the remainder of this year and the first half of 2005, our hotel has a series of large banquet events booked for local organizations such as the Korean Ophthalmologic Society, the Korean Orthopedic Association and the Korean Hypertension Society. It also has bookings for international organizations like the Federation of Asian Veterinary Associations, or FAVA that will hold its 13th Congress in Seoul this year, and the Asia Pacific Association of Pediatric Allergy, Respirology & Immunology (APAPARI).
Along with such events, the lighting of the Christmas tree on November 21 will be an especially great opportunity to draw families and children to the Hotel for the start of the festive season! The very popular Pudding Club, created by former general manager Timothy Soper and his wife Kim, will be held again on November 24. Holding such popular promotional events and inviting sponsors to be part of the Millennium Family has a very powerful effect and creates loyalty in the marketplace, I believe. Q: Can you give our readers an overview of the various food & beverage outlets and other facilities of the Millennium Seoul HiltonA:
I hear many guests say that the Millennium Seoul Hilton deserves to be rated as the hotel with the best food & beverage outlets. "Seasons," with its famous executive chef Hyo-Nam Park leads the pack. The Cilantro offers a casual Californian cuisine while the "Palm Court" lounge is the ideal place to relax. The "Taipan" and "Genji" offer a unique pan Asian cuisine now in high demand
and feature the open kitchens. The "Orangerie," meanwhile, with its stunning international buffet remains the biggest crowd-drawing outlet of them all. Q: Finally, how do you view the growth prospects of the Korean hotel industryA:
The quality of hotels here is amongst the best in Asia. The reason is that Korean owners are always adding value for money. The owners take great pride in their hotels and have the courage to engage famous hotel franchises to manage them.
The Millennium Seoul Hilton also is no exception and because the Seoul market is very fast-developing and ever-changing as in other parts of the world, I am very optimistic about the future of the city's hotel industry.
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