From the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention 2013, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the launch of a series of initiatives to meet the needs of travelers from India, one of the world’s fastest growing travel markets. Rolling out to participating Starwood properties across the globe, the newest addition to the Starwood Personalized Travel ™ program offers a variety of simple, yet meaningful touches that matter most to the Indian guest including in-room amenities like slippers and tea kettles, popular beverages such as masala tea and favorite breakfast items like Dosa, Poori and Paratha. Starwood properties featuring the new offering include the Sheraton Centre Toronto, Le Méridien Ile Maurice, Mauritius, W Barcelona, Sheraton Macau Hotel Cotai Central and The St. Regis Florence. Launched in 2011 to meet the needs of outbound Chinese travelers, the program will continue to expand over the next few years to accommodate travelers from other rapidly expanding regions.
India is on track to triple its outbound travel to 30 million trips per year by 2020, according to industry sources. With 1.2 billion residents, India is the world’s second most populous country and the second-fastest growing major economy. The country boasts a swelling middle class with growing disposable income and a robust appetite for global travel and world-class brands.
“The anticipated surge in Indian outbound travel presents Starwood with a tremendous opportunity to stand out from the competition in how we welcome Indian guests and meet their needs. As the largest hotel operator of four and five star hotels in India, we have cultivated a loyal following among travelers within the country and now we’re focused on making them feel at home at our hotels across the globe,” said Christie Hicks, Senior Vice President, Starwood Sales Organization.
Starwood Caters to Indian Travelers with Special In-Room Amenities, Familiar Foods and More
The new program, developed in partnership with Starwood’s India executive team was designed to serve the unique preferences of the Indian traveler and includes:
- In-Room Amenities – Items identified as important to Indian travelers include a tea or coffee maker, slippers, a mug in the bathroom, ironing board, and toiletries either in-room or available upon request.
- Familiar Foods - Indian favorites suggested for inclusion on the menu include masala tea, breakfast items like Dosa, Poori and Paratha, and eggs made to order at the breakfast buffet. In addition, the hotel’s chef will be encouraged to interact with travelers in the restaurant.
- Wedding Services – Customized wedding services that offer multiple options and venues for the various ceremonies, a pathway from the hotel gate to the banquet room for the wedding procession, and vegetarian options at the wedding buffet. Starwood is also well-positioned to meet the rising demand for weddings and other special events in venues outside India in popular destinations such as Thailand, Maldives, Dubai and Mauritius.
Starwood’s World-Class Brands Resonate with Indian Travelers
India is currently Starwood’s fourth largest market, second only to China in terms of future global growth. Boasting a current portfolio of 37 hotels plus another 32 under development, Starwood will soon fly eight of its nine brands in India. Upcoming openings include Sheraton Greater Noida Hotel, Le Méridien Delhi NCR, The Westin Chennai Velachery, Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park, W Retreat and Spa Goa, and W Mumbai.