The business travel market is expanding, and more than 2,300 new properties are scheduled to open or have opened just this year, all over the globe, with the largest number in Asia. Those in the West are traveling to Asia in increasing numbers, and discerning business travelers have very high expectations regarding service, room quality and amenities. India and China
have the highest number of new hotels opening in 2012, and there has been a massive increase in business travel to both of these countries. This is likely only the beginning of the trend of East meets West.
Hilton Hotels has announced expansion plans to open in Northern Iraq in the city or Erbil. Hilton plans to open 40 new hotels in the Middle East and Africa over the next four years, as reported by Rudi Jagersbacher, president, Hilton Worldwide, Middle East & Africa. These emerging nations are becoming hot destinations for business travelers who arrive with
high expectations for services and amenities, such as they would see in either the USA or Europe, and which have been virtually unavailable in many countries in the past.
Whether the industry is oil, agriculture, technology or tourism, new countries are open for business, and both American and European companies are taking advantage of the exceptional opportunities for expansion
that emerging nations offer. Each nation and area has a unique culture, and a careful management of the process, including a real understanding of each culture’s religious holidays, traditions and laws are all critical for success.
Finding the best hotel executives to manage this process carefully and correctly is extremely important to the future expansion of the property with regard to staffing and local support.
Real leadership talent is necessary for new hotels in emerging nations. Working within the restrictions of the culture, both in
traditions and religion, and integrating western traditions so that travelers have the level of comfort that they need is a process that requires insight, skill and a high level of experience. There is little room for error when engaging
certain cultures, particularly as local leaders can impact the general staffing of the hotel. Gaining both government and local support is always important when opening in new areas; when the right hotel executives are in place, your management team can make this a smooth process.
Bentley Price Associates, Inc. is a hotel executive search firm serving the hospitality industry worldwide. They have access to the best executives, including those with experience in managing new properties in emerging nations. Their hotel recruiters have served the industry for 36 years.