JW Marriott Hong Kong joins the telepresencing bandwagon

28 Jun 2010

JW Marriott Hong Kong became the chain's first property in Asia-Pacific to roll out the high-end videoconference system.

A four-way telepresence event with JW Marriott San Francisco, Cisco Shanghai and AT&T Malaysia marked the introduction of the telepresence studio located on the hotel's 30th floor.

Telepresence is a high-end form of video conferencing that replicates the experience of an actual face-to-face meeting by combining high-definition video, rich audio and interactive elements so that it feels the participants are all in the same room.

Marriott Hotels and Resorts has tapped AT&T to provide its telepresence solution using Cisco equipment in select properties within the chain.

"Our 'GoThere Virtual Meetings' will offer our clients a new way to hold more productive, collaborative meetings linking locations around the globe within seconds," said Mark Conklin, JW Marriott Hong Kong general manager.

JW Marriott Hong Kong is the sixth Marriott-branded hotel to roll out a telepresence studio, joining its sister hotels such as JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square, New York Marriott East Side, Bethesda North Marriott Hotel, Renaissance Washington DC, and Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott.

With an estimated size of 65sqm, the telepresence studio at JW Marriott Hong Kong can seat up to six people and is available 24 hours a day. Rental charge is US$500 per hour. The high-tech meeting room is open for booking from July 13.

A hotel spokesperson told Business Traveller that a second telepresence studio in Asia is expected to open at JW Marriott Shanghai between July and August this year. Others in the pipeline will be installed at JW Marriott London, Renaissance Sao Paulo and JW Marriott Chicago among others.

Earlier, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide (see news) rolled out telepresence suites in W Chicago City Centre and Sheraton on the Park Sydney (see news) with the help of India-based Tata Communications.

Smaller hospitality outfits, such as the Singapore-based Rendezvous Hospitality Group, have also joined the bandwagon, introducing a telepresence service in its flagship property in the Lion City. It is planning to install the technology throughout the chain (see news).

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Gigi Onag

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