If you’re trying to connect with the top executives at Starwood, you may want to upgrade your global calling plan. In March 2015, Starwood President and CEO Frits van Paasschen and the rest of the company’s executive team are planning to relocate to India where they will split time between Mumbai and Delhi. The move will be temporary, but it will give the company’s leadership team a full picture of business in an environment where Starwood is preparing for big growth.
“We all know of India as a hotbed of technological innovation and global services,” van Paasschen said in a statement. “Coupled with the rise in entrepreneurship and investment, millions of people are joining its middle class every year. And, of course, this means millions of new travelers.”
Starwood has plans to give those travelers places to stay. The brand currently operates 40 hotels in India with 36 additional properties in development. By 2016, Starwood hopes to have 100 hotels operating or developing.
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The On-The-Move Corporate Headquarters
This isn’t the first time van Paasschen and Starwood have decided to truly live and breathe their global footprint. In 2011, the company relocated to China, and in 2013, the company moved to Dubai for one full month. While one month may not provide a complete portrait of the nuances of doing business in new destinations, it certainly underscores just how crucial these emerging markets are to the future of business travel.
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The Ever-Expanding Global Footprint Of The Meetings Industry
It’s not just about individual business travel, either. The most recent American Express Global Meetings & Events Forecast points to growth in China, Brazil and India. Hoteliers are all hoping capitalize on that growth. Other names such as Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt have all recently opened new properties or announced new plans for development in new parts of the world.
That’s great news for meeting professionals. As they work to navigate new business climates, it may feel much more comfortable to turn to recognizable hotel names for help.
“Hoteliers like Starwood recognize that some of the biggest growth opportunities are emerging in new parts of the globe,” Michelle Crowley, Director, Global Development, PCMA, says. “As meeting professionals work to expand their international audiences, Starwood’s move highlights how easy it is to find a trusted partner in what might feel like an unfamiliar destination.”
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Are you looking for education on how to host a meeting in India? The 2013 PCMA All-Access Pass Combo has you covered with “India 101: Planning for Success in a New Strategic Destination.”