Mark Winterton is a seasoned hospitality professional with over twenty years of international experience launching luxury brands, re-positioning existing brands and driving innovation for some of the world’s most successful hotels. He was appointed as General Manager for the new InterContinental® Singapore Robertson Quay in December 2015, one of Singapore’s most highly anticipated luxury hotels, where he has subsequently built a strong leadership team for the 225-guestroom luxury hotel.
What’s the most challenging aspect in running your hotel?
I think the most challenging aspect in running the hotel is in finding the right talents within the competitive local market. The hotel industry is very much about the business of people. Our people play a major role in creating experiences for our guests, and more often than not, they are also the first faces that greet our guests when they arrive. My personal mantra has always been to place a key emphasis on people, so I value the importance of finding the right talent, placing the right people in roles they are able to develop and thrive in, so that we are able to retain our teams.
What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced in your role?
As General Manager of the newly-opened InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay, some of the challenges have really been about the hotel’s business ramping up faster than we had expected. With the accelerated pick-up in business, the team has had to ramp up operational efforts at an even quicker pace whilst coping with challenges of manpower.
What’s the essence of hospitality?
Hospitality is really all about service. An understanding of what our guests want or expect and going a step further to deliver an experience. In recent years, we have seen the introduction of new facilities, new products and even an increased use of technology for automated processes. However, amidst the modern day advances, I find it important to always go back to the essence of what true hospitality is, something that the InterContinental brand stands strongly for.
What kind of marketing tools you find to be effective in PR & Marketing in the hotel world today?
Marketing and PR is really all about getting our message out to the right customers, at the right place. It is evident that our customers are ready and receptive to interactions via social media platforms, so it is one area that we have to be available on and communicating directly with our guests at. Social Media has proven to be a very powerful way to reach our guests in this very dynamic landscape. Aside from being the voice behind our brand on social channels, Digital Marketing is another aspect that has allowed us to be able to effectively target the right audience based on their ‘search’ behaviour
What book are you currently reading or wish to read?
Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott.