Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. hosted more than 40 of the travel industry’s top executives for its Luxury and Leisure Customer Advisory Board meetings last week at the recently opened St. Regis Punta Mita Resort in Nayarit, Mexico (The Travel Group's John McMahon was in attendance).
“The members of our advisory boards are seasoned professionals who have experienced the industry in both good times and bad, but they acknowledged the challenges we face today are unprecedented,” said Matt Avril, president of the Hotel Group for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “At this year’s meetings, there was a real spirit of collaboration and sense of urgency to seek ways we could band together to stand up for travel. We all share a mutual need for consumers to renew their commitment to leisure travel and much of our discussion centered around how we can do that together.”
Coming out of the meetings, board members agreed to join Starwood, US Travel and engage their associates in a grassroots campaign to defend and encourage travel of all kinds, and within all segments.
Last week’s summit was of heightened significance not only due to the current state of the industry, but also because of its location in Mexico. Delegates at the meeting universally expressed the importance of continuing to encourage their clients to travel to the country’s premier tourist destinations.
"With all the warnings about travel to Mexico, it was an interesting time to attend a Starwood meeting at the St. Regis Punta Mita,” Valerie Ann Wilson, chairman and CEO of Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc. “During my stay, I personally felt totally safe. I look forward to sharing my wonderful first-hand experience with our team and our clients. "