Marriott International Expands “Culture Day” Program Worldwide In 2018

Immersive Trainings Offer Hotel Staff and Corporate Customers Deep Dives into 13 Cultures, Underscoring Company’s Aim to Welcome All, Elevate Customer Satisfaction and Drive Business Newest Culture Days: Native American and LGBTQ

Originally Published by Marriott International.

Marriott International announced the expansion of its groundbreaking Culture Day program aimed at fostering multicultural understanding to ensure welcoming environments at its hotels and increase guest satisfaction. Since Marriott founded the program in 2014, the company has hosted more than 50 Culture Day trainings in over 30 cities and eight countries. During 2018, demand for the program doubled as more hotels as well as corporate customers requested this training.


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

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

In Dubai, participants learned business practices in the Korean culture, including the exchange of business cards.

Marriott Culture Day Curriculum

Developed by Marriott’s Multicultural Affairs team and informed by real scenarios at actual hotel properties, the Culture Day curriculum gives attendees an overview of appropriate cultural terms, business and social protocols, traditions, trends, cuisine and clothing. In any given session, 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 who opt into the innovative program annually and routinely offer rave reviews.

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

“We hosted the first-ever Culture Day training in Canada here in Calgary last year, and we saw the results firsthand,” said Joseph Clohessy, General Manager, Calgary Marriott Downtown. “By improving our understanding of Chinese business protocols and cultural values, we were able to secure a major Chinese air crew client by offering the group services of particular value to them.”

Gandhi echoed this sentiment: “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.”

Trainings focused on Indian culture explore practices around Indian weddings including the use of a Mandap, which is traditionally used during many Indian wedding ceremonies.

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