Interviews

‘IFT students have great potential’: Rauf Malik

Vice President of Operations at JW Marriott Hotel Macau and The Ritz-Carlton, Macau, Rauf Malik

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

The Vice President of Operations at JW Marriott Hotel Macau and The Ritz-Carlton, Macau, Rauf Malik, praises the quality of IFT students and advises them to be passionate about work

– You have been with JW Marriott Hotel Macau and The Ritz-Carlton, Macau since the pre-opening period for those properties. Can you talk about that experience and how both venues have evolved since their opening in May 2015?
The launch of JW Marriott Hotel Macau and The Ritz-Carlton, Macau at the integrated resort Galaxy Macau was a long-term investment, perfectly complementing Macao’s evolving tourism landscape – which has a high demand for a diverse range of leisure and entertainment options – in order to open up the city to a broader audience of people of all ages and nationalities.

JW Marriott Hotel Macau, Asia’s largest JW Marriott, and the all-suite The Ritz-Carlton, Macau were set to redefine the standard of luxury in Macao, with their grand opening in May 2015. Since then, the hotels have never looked back, continuing to exert their efforts in bringing their exceptional service, superb facilities and spectacular culinary experiences to Galaxy Macau, creating the ultimate destination for unlimited recreation and enjoyment as well as meetings and events.

Set within a city such as Macao – that has such deep-rooted, unique culture and traditions – we have been striving to explore opportunities to tell to every guest the illustrious tale of the rich Macanese culture and its stories. At Urban Kitchen of JW Marriott Hotel Macau, we brought back traditional Macanese fare, in order to correct misconceptions: we felt that most people incorrectly interpret Macanese and Portuguese cuisines to be one and the same. Over at The Ritz-Carlton, Macau, Lai Heen has been designed to take restaurant patrons on a journey back to Macao’s ancient Chinese and Portuguese colonial past – with classic Chinese ceramics and decorations in the main dining area and thousands of pieces of azulejo ceramic tile work embellishing the walls.

So far, we have had a fantastic response, sustaining occupancy in the high-90s of percent throughout. We believe that the numbers will continue to come in as guests look to spend time on our properties and Macao’s reputation as a varied and diverse tourism destination grows.

“We believe travellers are looking for not just a comfortable stay or exceptional services, but an experience that is indelible and irreplaceable”

– Based on your international experience, what makes managing a 5-star hotel in Macao special?
Travellers nowadays are looking for diverse experiences. Set to elevate the standard of luxury, JW Marriott Hotel Macau and The Ritz-Carlton, Macau stress service, personalisation and enriching travel experiences, rather than mere physical trappings of luxury. The increasing demand for authenticity, new experiences and exclusivity will boost interest in places reflecting the culture and traditions of local communities. Craftsmanship and uniqueness would also be the key concerns for luxury travellers.

We believe travellers are looking for not just a comfortable stay or exceptional services, but an experience that is indelible and irreplaceable. To differentiate JW Marriott Hotel Macau and The Ritz-Carlton, Macau from many other hotels in the region, we place a special emphasis on conveying the local elements and characters throughout our offerings. We want to ensure that every guest who leaves our properties carries with them knowledge about the authentic Macanese culture and indelible memories of an exceptional stay, and that they would pass on this recommendation to their friends and loved ones as well.

‘Passion means everything’

– What are the career opportunities available for IFT fresh graduates at JW Marriott Hotel Macau and The Ritz-Carlton, Macau?
There are thousands of amazing career opportunities with JW Marriott Macau and The Ritz-Carlton, Macau, and even with our sister properties overseas. Marriott International just completed successfully the merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts on September 23, now encompassing 30 of the most desirable and prestigious hotel brands with the addition of the Starwood Hotels and Resorts portfolio. We provide international career and promotion opportunities to all of our associates – with a programme called Global Transfer Programme –across more than 110 countries, 30 brands and 5,700 hotels worldwide. If you have the ambition to be nurtured to become an international and professional hotelier, we definitely provide the right platform.

– How do you rate the quality of fresh IFT graduates?
We see IFT students have great potential for the hospitality industry, as they must have been passionate about this industry when they chose IFT. We also have confidence in IFT students, as the Institute’s curriculum requires internship experience in related industries before graduation, which makes sure they are not only learning during the internship period but also reconfirming their career approach.

There are 9 IFT students who joined us as permanent staff after internship last year and a total of 58 IFT students determined to perform their internship with us in 2016.

“We see IFT students have great potential for the hospitality industry, as they must have been passionate about this industry when they chose IFT”

– What is your advice for fresh IFT graduates looking to enter the hospitality industry in Macao?
Passion means everything in the hospitality industry. Pride and professionalism motivates us each day. Your motivation will demonstrate how you can apply your ability, knowledge and desire to perform with excellence in various work situations and locations. That’s what the learning journey is all about. Marriott International has systematic programmes designed to acquaint IFT fresh graduates with the skills and procedures that they will need before working independently on any assignment.

Ultimately, their journey must not stop here. The knowledge and preparation that they will develop with us will be vital in fulfilling their new responsibilities and accomplishing assignments.

– What is the benefit to Macao’s tourism and hospitality sector of quality education and training?
Macao is growing rapidly with many new hotels coming up and we believe that graduates that come out to the industry are well prepared, as the education that was provided to them gives the foundation, skills and knowledge required before they step into the real world. This also helps them to build their level of confidence to deal with internal and external guests and also daily challenges that they may encounter.

President’s Corner

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