Embracing Iloilo, the City of Love! – Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo owes growth to the community

ILOILO CITY, the Philippines — Being at the heart of modernity, the “City of Love” has given Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo a chance to see first-hand its growing economy and infrastructure and to feel how the Ilonggos have warmed up to an international hotel brand that promises them the best treatment and helps them promote to the world the locality they hold dear.

Over the past year and a half of operating at the Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao district, the hotel had accommodated guests who were there not only to huddle for business but also to celebrate life events and make meaningful connections. “We always want to set the trend for Iloilo,” saysDirector of Sales Joy Alonte, “a positive environment and working relationship, and good collaboration with the community.”

As hundreds of guests come in and out of the hotel every day, Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo and its associates find themselves in a unique position to experience how partnerships are built among the residents and their visitors, and what the city and its neighboring municipalities have to offer.

These have allowed them to identify and imbibe a cultural character that they highlight wherever and whenever they mention the community that hosts them, and that informed the ways they attract and care for all of their customers, as they reap the reputation for being a highly preferred accommodation establishment and one of the most recognizable landmarks in the burgeoning metropolis today.

“We promote Iloilo first. … [But] you need to embrace and love the city first before you are able to talk about it,” says Alonte, noting how Iloilo is different from other areas, like Manila and Cebu, where their brand can also be found. She says many of the foreigners — the market that would easily recognize them — they have spoken to do not know where Iloilo is yet, “only Boracay.” So, they resort to “creating interest about Iloilo first” before talking about the hotel.

Talking about Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo without talking about Iloilo City “will never work,” says Marketing Communications Manager Nico Velasquez. “While people will get a great experience here at [the hotel], it will still be what they experience in the community that will make a difference in their stay. [So] we can’t stop talking about Iloilo.

Bringing forth the importance of Iloilo in the Philippines’ economic and tourism development is not much of a challenge at all, owing to its immense potential for investments, Alonte says.

The hotel opened for business in May 2018. After the “soft opening” on May 1, it had a grand launch eight days later, with executives from the hotel management and Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc., government officials, the media, and other special guests in attendance. At that moment, it was a sign that it was about time for Iloilo City to have an international hotel — the first international hotel in Western Visayas and the first Courtyard, a Marriott International brand, in the Philippines.

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