LEADERSHIP knows no gender and each captain has a distinct style of steering a ship.
The first Marco Polo Hotel in the Philippines found its first lady General Manager in Dottie Wurgler-Cronin, a Cebuana with 15 years of hospitality experience. She worked her way up the corporate ladder from Food Beverage Manager to Director of Operations at Cebu City Marriott Hotel, to General Manager at Alegre Hotel in Cebu before accepting her next challenge to move to Davao and manage one of the premier hotels in the city.
She’s been “manning” the helm for more than two years now and by the looks of it, Marco Polo has never been busier, the coming holiday season most especially.
This will be the lady GM’s third Christmas with the property. Let’s get to know Dottie Wurgler –Cronin and what Marco Polo has in store in December.
Where do you credit this increase in activity in your hotel?
The robust and growth in the business in environment in Davao contributes to the increase in business activities for our hotel. Davao City is a top economic performer and has the highest GDP growth in the country at 9.4 percent. The City being the home of our beloved President, Rodrigo R. Duterte attracts people to visit the place for various reasons ranging from political purpose, business investment agendas, leisure visits and group meetings and conventions.
How is the Davao hotel culture similar and different from Cebu’s?
The people, staffs we find in Davao are very warm and gracious and ready to please, the Filipino hospitality culture. Evident in almost all hospitality places you go to; Cebu is becoming a more a cosmopolitan metropolis and the people tend to be transactional though professional and efficient in their dealings with clients, guests and customers.
Davao has many “jewels” to sell to the outside world, as it has not been in the radar of the many tourists that got attracted to visit Cebu. It is now coming out to be a place to explore and visit for new and repeat travelers to the Philippines. Davao is more exotic and I believe a destination that attracts the millennial because of the eco-tourism aspect, and clean and orderly for the older generation; the food is fresh and abundance of fruits.
The diverse culture and heritage of the Filipinos is so rich in Davao region.
Cebu has built its name as a Tourist destination for over 3 decades already and combined with the success in its economic growth, it has been an easier destination to sell for the past 20 years.
Is there an edge to being a woman in the industry?
The nurturing instinct or the intuitive trait of a woman plays significant influence in her decision making complementing her ability to be logical and firm.
At what direction did you take Marco Polo under “a woman’s leadership”?
As a woman I lead with my heart and mind combined, like a mother to her children. Lead with a purpose to transform, to grow the business to be sustainable for the Marco Polo Davao Family, our stakeholders and the community. Resilient and relentless amidst adversities, we engaged our team and focused on our goals.
What would you say are the contributions of a female GM to the hotel?
The concern for details and desire for our associate’s growth to develop and improved their personal lives and professional career.
On a lighter note, Dottie is noticeably a smart and chic dresser. She wears the dark suit required of a General Manger by day and dons a colored one for hotel-hosted events. On themed nights, she dresses to the occasion: a cheongsam for a Chinese affair, a terno infused with the vibe of a Davao local tribe for a formal soiree or a Chanelesque pink suit accentuated with a tribal accessory for a Davao fete. Dottie does dress up to the occasion. Perhaps to be able to style one’s self in the place of work is one of the perks of being a woman.
This will be your third Christmas in Marco Polo. What should Davao expect from Marco Polo for the holidays?
2017 holidays will be brighter and more meaningful as we wanted to show the resilience of Davao City, from all the challenges we faced this year.
Aside from our Christmas events and food highlights, we are also making this as an opportunity to share our blessings to Marawi as we launch our donation drive for the rehabilitation of the city. We encourage our Dabawenyo friends to take part and join us in this endeavor, even in this little way to help our brothers and sisters who were greatly affected by the conflict.
The hotel will “glow and shine” from the façade to the interior of the lobby and the dining outlets.
What’s this year’s theme for the New Year countdown?
Let's Glow 2018!
And your closet is stocked up for the holidays for sure. What’s your hotel holidays fashion?
Something classy, elegant and trendy, and for the fabric, lacey and sheer.
If you had one wish, how do you want to see the guests dressed for Marco Polo’s grand ball?
Dressed up for a very special occasion with classy, trendy design; sheer, lacey, silk fabric of a long dress, cocktail dress with glitzy accessories anything that sparkle.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on November 11, 2017.
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