The newly appointed general manager of Grand Mercure Danang Hotel David Coyle spoke with VIR’s Nhat Ha about his 25 years of experiences in the hospitality industry and his priorities in operating the hotel in Vietnam since the start of the year.
With your experience as a general manager for 5-star hotels and resorts in Thailand and elsewhere, what successful experiences you have gained?
The most challenging experience was opening four Accor resorts post-pandemic and facing operational issues with the operating systems, and enticing staff back to work and preparing for the return of the tourism industry. My team and I faced this challenge and managed successfully to open all four resorts and deliver the standards of guest experience we are renowned for.
My teams’ commitment to the tourism industry and their passion made it possible. Teamwork was the key strength and the main factor in our success.
|David Coyle - the newly appointed general manager of Grand Mercure Danang Hotel |
What differences are there between the Thai and Vietnamese tourism markets?
The Thailand tourism industry returned quicker and stronger than Vietnam for sure and this was attributable to the Phuket sandbox as well as the government support and continual review of pandemic-related measures in line with the tourism visa and immigration policies.
Thailand recognises the importance of the tourism sector and the impact is has on the local Thai communities, and the government acted quickly and opened borders with fewer regulations. This was and continues to be the reason Thai visitor numbers are growing so quickly.
Vietnam is following the example led by other countries and in due course we will also benefit from the reduction or removal of inbound immigration policies and immigration requirements.
Which priorities have you planned to make Grand Mercure Danang more attractive, unique, and memorable?
Grand Mercure is and has always been an icon of hospitality in Danang, and I am extremely proud to be the general manager of such a sensational hotel. The team is highly experienced and are the most professional that I have seen in central Vietnam. Many having been working at the hotel for over 10 years.
My goal is to drive our guest experience even higher, and create a renowned position as the leading iconic hotel in Central Vietnam. We know there are newer hotels in the market, but we are secure in the fact that we set the benchmark for others to strive for, and we will continue to maintain our number one position.
The requirements for luxury wellness and healthcare tourism is on the rise. Does Grand Mercure Danang offer services to meet these trends?
We have already recognised this, and the hotel is well-prepared for new evolving markets and their needs. For example, the Japanese market is unique in its bedding configuration requirements and as of now we are the only 5-star hotel that caters to the high-end Japanese market, offering Hollywood King Twin bedding in a junior suite with the required bath tubs.
Our high-end positioning with the Japanese market and other targeted markets will also benefit from the exclusive and incredible Privilege Lounge on the 21st floor. The lounge boasts the most panoramic and enchanting city, river, and mountain views available in Danang, which are surpassed only by the butler-like service standards. Grand Mercure Danang is not only prepared, but well-equipped to receive and deliver over and above traveller expectations.
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By Nhat Ha