Skift Take

From direct booking campaigns to the growing popularity of Airbnb, there's a lot to talk about with the most influential decision-makers in hospitality.

Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson, just days after completing his company’s long-awaited $13.3-billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, spoke at length about Marriott’s plans for linking both companies.

Former Starwood Hotels & Resorts CEO Frits van Paasschen said he didn’t think the timing of the Marriott acquisition wasn’t in his former company’s favor, especially for its shareholders.

Veteran hotelier Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels and former global head of hospitality and strategy for Airbnb, told the audience what hotels could learn from Airbnb, and vice versa.

Former Two Roads Hospitality CEO Niki Leondakis, now CEO of Equinox Fitness Clubs, said that real innovation in hospitality comes from internal disruption.

Standard International CEO and managing partner Amar Lalvani, along with Bunkhouse COO Liz Lambert, said that hotels with a lifestyle edge will continue to thrive, even in the sharing economy age.

And former Generator Hostels CEO Fredrik Korallus listed the many reasons why the hotel industry should be paying more attention to hostels.

Those were just a few tidbits from Skift Global Forum 2016 (all of which you can revisit in the videos below). But get ready for 2017.

Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International, is speaking at Skift Global Forum 2017. Get Tickets Now

From fighting the online travel agencies like and Expedia in their efforts to get more direct bookings, the state of the mergers and acquisitions scene, developments in both artificial intelligence and mobile technology, and the ever-looming threat of Airbnb, the most influential CEOs in hospitality will all be at Skift Global Forum 2017.

They include:

  • Airbnb co-founder and chief strategy officer Nathan Blecharczyk
  • Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson
  • Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta
  • Wyndham Hotel Group CEO Geoff Ballotti
  • InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Keith Barr
  • Vacasa co-founder and CEO Eric Breon.

All of them will step up to the stage at Skift Global Forum 2017 in New York City September 26–27 to state their cases about where they think their companies and the travel industry are heading.

Rounding out the field of hospitality veterans will be LaQuinta Inns & Suites EVP and CMO Julie Cary and Aman COO Roland Fasel.

Attend Skift Global Forum 2017

What Happened in 2016

To get a sense of what you can expect from speakers and the event, watch these conversations that took place at last year’s event.

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson

Former Airbnb Global Head of Hospitality & Strategy Chip Conley

Former Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen

Former Two Roads Hospitality CEO Niki Leondakis

Standard International CEO Amar Lalvani and Bunkhouse COO Liz Lambert

Former Generator Hostels CEO Fredrik Korallus

Attend Skift Global Forum 2017

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Tags: sgf2017, skift global forum

Photo credit: Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, speaking on stage at the Skift Global Forum 2016. Skift / Skift

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