January 26, 2007

Hi, I'm Bill Marriott.

Today we witnessed the cruel hand of terrorism once again.  According to Pakistani authorities, our hotel in Islamabad was the target of a lone suicide bomber.  The explosion occurred by the loading dock in the afternoon local time.

No guests were hurt but a hotel maintenance worker was hospitalized and sadly, one of the hotel's security guards was killed as he tried to stop the suicide bomber from approaching the hotel.  He is a great hero and he represents the true spirit to serve of our associates; to go above and beyond, which he certainly did.

We have a lot of heroes, here at Marriott.

People like Theera Kanjana, who was Resident Manager at our JW Marriott resort in Phuket, Thailand when the Asian Tsunami hit.   After he noticed the sea acting up, he ordered everyone off the beach and away from the pool.  Like the security guard in Islamabad, he put his life at risk - even suffering severe injuries, but, again, he protected our guests and associates.

You know, it all really comes down to caring - a culture of caring.  I am very proud of the 143,000 Marriott associates, around the world.  They are not only the face of our company; they are its heart and soul.

Today, we're doing all we can to assist the hotel in Islamabad and reach out to the family of our security guard, who gave his life.


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Dear Bill
I read your article for the first time today as i was searching for rates at the Islamabad Marriott for this week. My heart goes out to the security guard and his family-i sincerely hope that his family have been able to pick up the pieces of their lives since this senseless tragedy. I have stayed at your hotel on a number of occasions since the October 2005 earthquake. I am part of a 4-member team of psychologists from PRSA-Ppsychological Relief South Africa. We always stay at your hotel on the first and last day of our relief trips-as we consider this a part of our preparation for going into the field and de-stressing after our work. All of the team have travelled extensively both for work and leisure and I have to say that we have never received such outstanding service anywhere! Your staff are gracious and more than helpful and it amazes us that since the very first trip they have always remembered us even though we return every 3months; we are remembered with such affection and kindness it is overwhelming! This we receive from the security, bell-captain, customer relations and cleaning staff alike. It has really made our work in Pakistan easier and we hope to continue using your hotel for our ongoing work. I have stayed in other Marriotts across the globe and still feel that the service in Islamabad is outatanding and would really like to compliment you on the people you employ there. Wishing you every success going forward.

Bill, Do you even know the name of the guard who was killed? I was probably a mile away when the blast occurred n I know the destruction the suicide bomber could have caused if he had not been stopped by the Security Guard who fulfilled his duty by giving away his life. Was his family helped in anyway?

Dear Bill,
It since long time but I will re-say You Marriot people are working great, helping people etc, and in the end I will ask you to help the poor man dead in this accident and I hope you must appreciate his services throughout and helping his family always.
Best regards
Islamabad Pakistan

Hello Bill,
First of all accept my condolence on whatever happened. i feel really sorry for the incident. I read all about the reconition you have given to the Secutiry Officer but his family doesnot only needs recognition. They have lost the main source of income on which he was feeding his family and full filling all the necessities of life. He i believe did a great infact a tremendous job for what he was hired. He lost his life to save alot more who are Employees and Guests visiting the Hotel. A great Deed and a Great Sacrifice. I really appreciate for whatever you said but on the other hand i would like you to reward his family for his Sacrifice by yourself. The recognition cannot full fill thier necessities. You just lost one employee but for his family, they lost whole world. SO please Reward his family in Monetary Terms so that his CHildren and his family can atleast live thier lives till the time they start earning for themselves. i know Money cannot replace his presence but atleast can lead full fill whatever he wanted to do for his family.
Please take this into consideration.
Eddy B. Nelson

I hope you are giving your customers an opportunity to donate something to the families of the maintenance man and the security guard in Islamabad. We too have a stake in these heroes and the people who work everyday to makem our stays more comfortable, safer and rewarding.
Our family visited the Phuket resort a year after the tsunami and found it a pleasant, gracious, and magical stay.

To be a Hero is not that easy. You have to be as honest and fulfill for your duties as guard of Islamabad Marriott.

The guard at the Islamabad Marriott is a hero saving many lives by stopping the suicide bomber. My sympathies to his family. Thank you for recognizing his heroism

Bill, would you give us, your readers, your guests, your employees - would you make us a promise: Would you report back to us in one years time and tell us how this security guard is doing than? Will you? Because that might just be the difference between Public Relations and Blogging. Thank you. (oh, btw, The Marriot Riverside in Bangkok is my all time favorite hotel with more than 200 beds)

I am sorry to hear about the security guard that lost his life this past week.
I am reading this blog from my room at the JW Marriott in Phuket, Thailand. I read with particular interest the story about the heroic efforts of Theera Kanjana on the day the tsunami hit. I called the front desk and discovered that Mr. Kanjana still is the resident manager.
His leadership skills are clearly evident here from the moment I arrived to the portico. I was greeted with a sincerely warm welcome, a flower lei greeting and a cold towel to refresh my hands and face.
As you know, this property is better than the website and brochures show. But more importantly, Mr. Kanjana's leadership shines through the smiles and excellent service of every associate that I have come across.

Very sad news. But the family will find it good to hear their fallen relative is considered a hero.

Bill, I am glad to see your quick response to this situation. I do not know many CEO's that would even want to publish something bad like this. You did a great job. These are tough times. I have stayed in your Vegas resorts and eaten your food at WSU when I was a student. Keep up the good work.
-Jason, SLC, UT

Bill, I appreciate your comments and I have just returned from traveling in Thailand and India and stayed at several Marriott properties and encountered the additional security that was in place which interestingly is not in place at other 5 star properties. Despite minor delays associated with having my ride checked for explosives, I felt safe and took comfort knowing that Marriott and its employees are taking extra precuations to serve and protect their guests and their properties. (Something that I do value as a multiple property MVCI owner.)
I personally don't consider India and Thailnad dangerous, yet having the measures in place does add an additonal sense that my welfare does matter.
Thank you to you and all the staff throughout the world that are serving people like me; trying to make my staff a little more comfortable and safe.