BETHESDA, Md. — Marriott International is expanding its Culture Day program — an initiative aimed at fostering multicultural understanding and ensure welcoming environments — in response to growing demand.
Since Marriott founded the program in 2014, the company has hosted more than 50 Culture Day trainings in more than 30 cities and eight countries. During 2018, demand for the program doubled as more hotels, as well as corporate customers, requested this training, spurring the company to offer the program worldwide.
Today, Marriott offers immersive training experiences for 13 countries and cultures: Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Middle East, Russia, South Korea and the U.S., as well as curriculum around Jewish, LGBTQ and Native American cultures.
“As international travel grows worldwide and Marriott continues to expand into more countries and territories, embracing differences is more critical than ever to ensuring a warm welcome for all,” says Apoorva Gandhi, vice-president of Multicultural Affairs, Marriott International. “Our Culture Day training programs provide associates with key insights and knowledge about customer cultures.”
Developed by Marriott’s Multicultural Affairs team and informed by real scenarios at actual hotel properties, the Culture Day curriculum gives attendees an overview of appropriate cultural terms, business and social protocols, traditions, trends, cuisine and clothing. All sessions include food, guest lecturers, candid conversation surrounding real-world scenarios and practical and actionable takeaways.
“We hosted the first-ever Culture Day training in Canada here in Calgary last year and we saw the results firsthand,” says Joseph Clohessy, general manager, Calgary Marriott Downtown. “By improving our understanding of Chinese business protocols and cultural values, we were able to secure a major Chinese air-crew client by offering the group services of particular value to them.”