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Member Spotlight: Director of Operations, Fairmont Peace Hotel on MICE and Service

The Director of Operations at the Fairmont Peace Hotel discusses the influence of the MICE industry on business in China, and how to maintain an excellent standard of service.

Q: China’s MICE industry (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) is expanding at a phenomenal rate. What are some of driving forces behind this expansion?
A: It is indeed true that MICE has been expanding and volume has increased this past year, but there is also some trade off. The market has become even more competitive, and rates have declined slightly to maintain an advantage. As Shanghai has consistently grown in its influence around the world as both a destination city and center of business, it has outshone many others in China and Asia. With a full calendar of the best events and exhibitions as well, it has kept the city at the top of mind at all times. Along with the best available hotel brands in the world, groups and events are able to get the most for their spend.

Q: How has the growth of the MICE industry influenced operations at the Fairmont Peace Hotel? A: For the Fairmont Peace Hotel, our MICE business has grown 10% year over year for 2014 vs. 2013. This has allowed the hotel this past year to develop a better base in room nights and events thus affording more opportunity to yield the properties potential.

Q: What are some of the challenges luxury hotels face in terms of gaining a share of the MICE market?
A: We need to find high-level business as well as on focusing special events. Our rates are higher than business hotels, as we are a luxury brand, thus it is difficult to gain some requirements with the limited budgets of organizers.

Q: How does the Fairmont Peace Hotel maintain an excellent standard of service quality in Shanghai?
A: For us here at the Fairmont Peace Hotel we keep things very simple. We believe in what we call ‘multipliers’ in the way we do business. That means to focus on the fundamentals that will drive and influence the results. When it comes to our service, the bottom line is recognition. We have a comprehensive and exciting recognition program we call a�?Service Plus Memory Making,a�? and it allows us to celebrate up to 60 colleagues a month that have all contributed through new ideas, guest comments that reference a colleague’s name, or the final and most important, the a�?Good Things That I Heara�?a��the stories that our guests tell us about our colleagues who have truly demonstrated outstanding responsibility and ownership of the guests’ experience. By building a culture around celebrating the great things we all do, we believe we have created positive habits where it is most needed while allowing our people to hold each other accountable when we can be better.

About Robert Cousins
A Hotel Management Graduate of George Brown City College and Hospitality Certificate achievement through-Cornell I have been a part of the hospitality industry for 17 years. unnamedI began my career with Canadian Pacific Hotels at Chateau Lake Louise, Lake Louise Alberta in 1998 working my way through several F&B roles then into Rooms Division finishing as an Assistant Front office Manager. Leaving Lake Louise in 2005 I started with the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver as an Assistant Front Office Manager again working my way through several progressive roles such as Director of Housekeeping and Director of Banquets. In May 2010 I relocated again with Fairmont Hotels to Maui, Hawaii where I started my first roll as the Director of Rooms at the Fairmont Kea Lani. After 2 years I moved to my most recent property the Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai as Director of Rooms and was then promoted one year later to my current position as Director of Operations. A�

About the Fairmont Peace Hotel
Situated at the famous Bund promenade and unrivaled shopping on Nanjing Road, Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai is the perfect place to explore Shanghaia��s spectacular scenery and vibrant lifestyle. This landmark hotel served as a glamorous playground for the elite, where every night was an extravagant gala event and veritable Parisian fashion show. Fairmont Peace Hotel is a sought after venue formeetings, weddings and social events. With the famedA�Peace HallA�meticulously restored to its original grandeur, guests can revive memories of old Shanghai cabarets and gala parties whilst stepping on the iconic sprung-wooden dance floor.