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“Embracing differences”: Marriott expands Culture Day program worldwide

Culture Day - Marriott International
In Dubai, participants learned business practices in the Korean culture, including the exchange of business cards.

Marriott International has announced the expansion of its Culture Day program aimed at fostering multicultural understanding.

Marriott International founded the program in 2014 to ensure welcoming environments at its hotels, therefore increasing guest satisfaction. The company has hosted more than 50 Culture Day training sessions in over 30 cities and eight countries. This year, demand for the program doubled as more hotels as well as corporate customers requested the training.

Today, the hospitality chain offers immersive training experiences for 13 countries and cultures: Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the Middle East, Russia, South Korea and the U.S., as well as curriculum around Jewish, LGBTQ and Native American cultures.

“Embracing differences”

Apoorva Gandhi, VP of multicultural affairs, Marriott International, said: “As international travel grows worldwide and Marriott continues to expand into more countries and territories — embracing differences is more critical than ever to ensure a warm welcome for all. Our Culture Day training programs provide associates with key insights and knowledge about customer cultures.”

Marriott Culture Day Curriculum

Culture Day - Marriott International
During Indian Culture Day in Washington, D.C., participants experienced authentic henna application.

The Culture Day curriculum gives attendees an overview of appropriate cultural terms, business and social protocols, traditions, trends, cuisine and clothing.

During sessions, participants hear real-life scenarios and are immersed in distinct cultures. For example, Indian Culture Day participants absorb the history and significance of henna through the work of an on-site henna artist and learn about Indian attire through a sari tying demo. The significance of a bar and bat mitzvah is explored during Jewish Culture Day and the key events of a quinceañera are reviewed during Mexican Culture Day.

All sessions include food, guest lecturers, candid conversation surrounding real-world scenarios and practical and actionable takeaways for the thousands of participants.

Gandhi concluded: “Participants typically leave confident with newfound insights that will help them more effectively understand and anticipate a guest’s needs, which ultimately leads to better business outcomes and higher customer satisfaction.”

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