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Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide - Essay Example

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Name: University: Course: Tutor: Date: Answers and responses to the Starwood questions Introduction Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is a leading international hotel and leisure company with over 1100 properties in nearly 100 countries and employing 154 000 in staff at its owned and franchised properties…
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Download file to see previous pages The company owns and runs the Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc, which provides premier world class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and access to Starwood brands(NHS para 10). Answer to question1 The Middle East hospitality and tourism industry is one of the more robust in the world. Data released by the world travel and tourism council indicates that visitor numbers are expected to soar high in the coming five years since the Middle East region projected to grow in international visitor arrivals by 6.5%. Starwood is well placed to exploit this market especially Dubai which is gearing up to attract new sectors such as conferencing with its world class infrastructure and competitively priced hotels (NHS para 3). Starwood should leverage on the number of business visitors in the Middle East. The company should offer value added hospitality services such as conference facilities, dining facilities and tourist villas. In some instances, international brands can be introduced to foreign markets without much consideration for local tastes and preferences. In this case, the company can introduce its standardized product in the foreign market and exploit economies of scale in its operations, this way; it can maintain a price advantage over its competition. However, a standardized product strategy should be flexible enough to respond to local markets, the products should be designed with a more balanced strategic focus giving weight to local and global concerns. There should be an emphasis on the global market coordination to avoid duplication of activities and to capitalize on the scope and economies of scale (NHS para 3). The company should utilize economies of scale in order to reduce the operating costs and threat of new entrants in the market. If necessary, the Starwood subsidiaries in the Middle East should be given more autonomy to tailor their products to the needs of the market. The subsidiaries can design products specifically for the Middle East market or adopt existing Starwood brands and customize them depending on local preferences. Adopting existing brands is especially important for the franchised system of management adopted by Starwood where the owner of the hotel is not the brand owner. Thus adopting an international brand gives the subsidiaries worldwide exposure and recognition associated with an established brand (NHS para 7). The company should pursue both a global strategy, but also emphasize on the customization of the hospitality services to the needs of the local market. The company should differentiate its services in order to attain competitive edge in the hospitality industry. Where global brands are adopted, teams of experienced staff should be established on the ground to modify the global campaign locally and serve as the public face of the brand. Their activities are then coordinated by a matrix structure reporting to the global brand manager or a local marketing manager. A separate team should be established, and it is responsible for new product development to fit the local market or to adopt global brands that fit into the existing Starwood portfolio. Brand strength is the life-blood of a franchising company like Starwood, and it is important that the staff develop and promote a brand culture (NHS para 5). The company has attained brand recognition and efforts should be shifted to retaining the customer loyalty through new and innovative hospitality products and loyalty ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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