Friday, March 31, 2006


Welcome, Marco Polo Plaza Hotel 03/09/2006Cebu City's skyline will be transformed with the opening of the much talked about hotel in the metropolis today - Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. Very soon, Marco Polo Plaza Hotel Cebu will formally open its doors. Last February 22, Marco Polo Plaza Hotel had its blessing with a High Mass celebrated by His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal together with other bishops. After the blessing of the 329-room hotel, lunch was served and guests were impressed with excellent and well-presented food in the medium lit second level function room. This writer had the opportunity to talk to one of the top honchos of the Marco Polo Group, Director of Human Resources for Training and Development, Deanna McGonigal - the amiable Hongkong-based Canadian hotelier who is on top of the training and staff preparation of the hotel. In between food helpings, things about Marco Polo Plaza Hotel Cebu were disclosed: "This is a brand new hotel and we don't want to stick to the past. We hired some of the best in the region for management positions and we also hired the best for our hotel staff," McGonigal said. Marco Polo hotel properties are international hotels complying with the high international standards, according to McGonigal, but with expertise on local flavors distinctive of the region or area where the property is located. As for Marco Polo Plaza Hotel Cebu, "We can expect a true Cebuano experience." The hotel industry in the Philippines is growing together with international trade and tourism and Marco Polo is looking into establishing properties in major centers like Manila. "We are working with the tourism industry to enhance Cebu, and the Philippines for that matter, as a destination," she added. Targeting the leisure and business market, McGonigal shared they are poised to be the home for these types of travelers when they stay in Cebu. During the training she conducted with the staff, she observed that Cebuanos "have accepted the education and training we conducted. They are receptive and it's so delightful." The Marco Polo culture, McGonigal pointed out, is about people, service, commitment, growth and development. Deanne McGonigal is in the hotel industry for more than two decades and has just recently re-joined the Marco Polo Group. She has been touring around the 10 Marco Polo properties around the world.