|The St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central impresses customers with its signature butler service. / Courtesy of St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central|
By Kang Seung-woo
Macao is becoming a popular destination for Korean travelers.
According to statistics from the Macao Government Tourism Office, the number of Koreans who visited the Chinese special administrative region in the first quarter of 2019 was 8.3 percent higher than the same period last year.
|Daniella Tonetto, general manager of sales and marketing at the Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, Cotai Central and the St. Regis Macao, speaks during an interview in Seoul. / Courtesy of St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central|
That is why Daniella Tonetto, general manager of sales and marketing at the Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, Cotai Central and the St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central has come to Korea for the third straight year to host a road show to promote their properties to Korean travellers.
"The Korean market is extremely important to us, so we come here every year to not only say thank you to our existing customers but also to attract new customers to the Macao market," Tonetto said in an interview with The Korea Times in Seoul.
"Every year, the Korean market is growing for Macao, so we want make sure they keep people updated on what's new and what's different."
The Australian, who has headed the two hotels since April 2015, added Macao continues to grow all of leisure activities for family travelers and couples to enjoy such as swimming pools, spas, fabulous restaurants and dining experiences.
For the career-long hotelier, Macao's hotel industry is a tough nut to crack, given that there are a large number of high-profile hotels to compete with ― although she believes they have something to impress Korean customers as well as others.
"From the St. Regis' perspective, that's the really luxury hotel and we differentiate at our sales with our butler service," Tonetto said.
The signature service is comprised of beverage, unpacking and packing services as well as garment pressing.
"The butler service really set us apart from the competition as well as some of our other signature such as family tradition programing, afternoon tea service or the bloody Mary experience at the bar. These are some signature features of our hotel," she added.
Although the St. Regis is a luxury brand in the lineup of global hotel giant Marriott International, it is absent from the local market, which some believe may prevent the hotel from promoting itself and appealing to Korean customers.
However, it doesn't worry the general manager.
"I think the Korean market is very familiar with luxury brands. They understand what luxury is if they desire to choose a luxury brand and then they will go looking for what other luxury brands are in that destination," she said.
"That's where we can sell St. Regis to them on the platform."
As for the Sheraton hotel, she said the property offers consistent experience to customers.
"The thing we give out to customers and travelers is that consistency. When they are staying at the Sheraton, they know what to expect and what to receive and they feel very secure. Especially, traveling with family, extended family or friends, they know their experience at the Sheraton will be very consistent with our brand all around the world," she added.
Along with those features, Tonetto boasts of one more thing that singles out their properties from rivals.
"Location is really one of our most unique selling points because we really lie in the heart of Cotai," she said.
"So it is very convenient for customers to get around," Tonetto added. "They can walk to all of the integrated resorts, a lot of dining options and a lot of entertainment, all within walking distance. So you might say there are many hotels in Cotai, but actually we are the only hotel on the actual strip."