ITS upcoming transition into a convention hotel will enable Marriott Hotel Manila to bat for bigger meetings and more than double MICE's contribution to room sales, said general manager Bruce Winton.
The 8,000m2 Marriott Grand Ballroom (MGB), the Marriott group’s biggest convention and exhibition space outside the US, is set for a grand opening on May 18.
Apart from a 3,000m2 pillar-less main ballroom for up to 5,000 pax, MGB also has two chapels and six multi-purpose venues called VIP Skyboxes.
But the 228 additional rooms, which will be bigger and more luxurious than the hotel’s existing 342 rooms, will be launched only towards year-end.
“2015 will be a transition for us and the dynamics will change. Since the additional rooms won’t be ready until the end of this year, the rooms-to-MICE-space ratio might be skewed,” he said.
Winton said that demand for MICE was strong but the hotel had to turn away a lot of business “because we don’t have enough rooms”.
Once the additional rooms come on stream, MICE contribution to room sales would increase from the current 20 per cent to almost 50 per cent by end-2016, he said.
Winton expects half of MGB’s business to be MICE, including association meetings, and the rest to come from entertainment and social events such as weddings.