Marriott International is bringing reality to the classroom for its international hotel managers by incorporating the use of a computer-based simulation in a new program called Managing Business Priorities.

Combining theory and insights from regional discipline leadership with application in the HOTS (Hotels Operations Tactic Simulations) computer-based simulation, the goal of the training is for middle managers on property to learn how to improve profitability, drive revenue, and develop leadership on a cross-functional level. The three-day program allows managers to compete in dynamic real life situations while learning the skills and knowledge required to excel in today’s competitive markets, thereby broadening their knowledge base.

The launch of this new training program is an outgrowth of the highly successful Business Acumen training Marriott International introduced three years ago. Since its launch, over 700 international managers have participated in the training program. This experiential style of learning immerses the managers in the process of business planning and decision making for their computer-based hotel. Each computer-based hotel’s leadership team is required to make all decisions for their hotel, which include revenue and cost management, market positioning, sales and marketing, facility and service standards, and capital investments to name a few.

“The ability to leverage all of the experience and immediate benefits of actually evaluating performance outcomes has transferred to better performance levels back on property. The graduates return to their respective hotels with a clearer understanding of current and future business issues and have the skill base to respond to the challenges with greater assurance of success,” said Pam Jones, Vice President for International Training and Organization Development.

With Marriott presently operating over 2,600 hotels in 66 countries, developing in-country talent is one of the company’s highest business priorities. These programs have allowed the company to not only build that talent but benefit from the experience that managers bring from different markets and industries.

Marriott International currently offers 20 different programs to managers in all international locations. In 2004, approximately 6,000 managers participated in over 300 programs in management and leadership development offered in 8 different languages.