Competition cannot touch Marriott in India, says CEO
Marriott Group CEO A. Sorenson believes his brands will attract more Indian guests than any other hotel
“Marriott legacy in India”
India is one of the world’s fastest growing hospitality markets, but Marriott’s CEO Arne Sorenson isn’t afraid of the competition. In fact, he is confident that Marriott can retain its position as one of the most popular brands on the subcontinent.
Speaking in Dubai recently, he elaborated on why he thinks that Marriott in India is in no danger of losing its local customers.
“If I’m a startup company, starting up in India and want to have a particular niche then maybe it might make sense. But coming up with an Indian brand is exactly the wrong strategy,” he said.
Sorenson was implying that competitors, such as Taj, who are actively growing their operations in rival regions in an attempt to draw Indian travelers, do not pose any real threat to a brand with a legacy like Marriott.
Indian tourists becoming more discerning
Part of the reason Sorenson is so confident is because of how the profile of the Indian tourist is developing.
Guests and customers from India are becoming more discerning, so Marriott is a good fit for many modern Indian travelers, he feels.
Sorenson sees a symbiosis in the relationship between the tourism industry in India and Dubai in terms of catering to Indian tourists.
“It’s a market I personally love. We’re the largest operator in India, as much as it drives them [Taj] crazy. And we complete extraordinarily well for the Indian consumer in India and abroad, because of our distribution in India and abroad,” he said.
Sorenson said that whether Indian tourists are traveling locally or abroad, Marriott offers reliability, reputation and familiarity.
Still, Sorenson is unfazed by last year’s challenges, saying, “Whether a customer spends more or less depending on what’s going on in their life, we can stay relevant to them throughout that journey. The choice of price points, design sensibilities, and programs gives us the opportunity to say we can get you now and we can get you 30 years from now when your tastes may have changed.”
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