Arne Sorenson, President and CEO at Marriott International, visits LinkedIn Studios to discuss the state of the hospitality industry. Here, Sorenson talks about emerging markets — and why Cuba is at the top of his wishlist for expansion.
Here is an edited transcript of the interview:
AMY CHEN, EDITOR AT LINKEDIN: You mention acquiring hotels. Of course, you guys have acquired a chain in Africa and you’ve opened in Haiti. Where does Cuba fall on that list of potential targets?
ARNE SORENSON: We’d love to be in Cuba and we’ll get there just as fast as we can possibly figure out how to do it. The U.S. laws have not yet evolved enough to allow us to go into Cuba in the traditional way that we develop hotels. And so we’ll have to see how that evolves. But the American traveler is clearly curious about Cuba. Many of them may not have a personal experience because it has been a long time since people have been able to go to Cuba, but they know something about the reputation of the place and they’ve seen the photos — maybe they’ve heard stories from prior generations. And so they want to get back there to experience it. Obviously we’d like to be there to help them experience it.
Read Arne Sorenson’s related Influencer post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/state-hospitality-want-transparent-company-willing-do-arne-sorenson
Moderator: Amy Chen
Camera & Mix: Dan Mills
Art & Animations: Jacqueline Zaccor
Producer: Florencia Iriondo