Money & Business

Immersion Studies: Hotel Execs Plan Deep Dive in India

By / Oct 15, 2014 The skyline of Mumbai, soon to be the temporary headquarters of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. (iStock/Thinkstock)

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide recently announced that a group of its executives will spend a month in Mumbai and Delhi next year to get a firsthand experience of the hospitality industry in India.

Executives from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide will head to India next year for a month-long business and cultural immersion.

President and CEO Frits van Paasschen and several top-level executives will spend March in Mumbai and Delhi, roughly 8,000 miles away from the company’s headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, learning new hospitality approaches.

“Global trends are revolutionizing travel,” van Paasschen said in a statement. “Rapidly growing markets and a more interconnected world are bringing high-end travelers to new markets like never before. As a company with operations in over 100 countries, we at Starwood know that there is no substitute for witnessing firsthand this huge transformation.”

With India’s population expected to eclipse that of China by 2030, van Paasschen added, “this is a particularly exciting time for us relocate to India.” He also noted the country’s renewed focus on travel infrastructure, its increasing technological innovations, and its growing middle class, which will likely lead to more travelers.

The executives will have opportunities to visit and meet with stakeholders in cities throughout India and the South Asia region,which has emerged as the world’s second-fastest-growing market for inbound tourist arrivals, according to Starwood.

The company, which currently operates 40 hotels in India with another 36 under development, sponsored similar relocation trips to China in 2011 and to Dubai in 2013. Van Paasschen told The Wall Street Journal that the idea for the immersion experience stemmed from a conversation he had with his wife several years ago.

“We were talking about all the challenges and opportunities that come with our growth in China,” he said. “I jokingly said, ‘I’d almost like to just move our headquarters there.’ Laura suggested a wiser and much more practical course, and said, ‘Well, why not go for a month?’”

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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