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The State of the Hospitality Industry: Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson on Transparency

Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International, stops by LinkedIn Studios to discuss the state of the hospitality industry. Find out why one of the world’s largest hotel chains used to fear negative customer reviews — and what they’ve discovered about being more transparent.

Below is a transcript of the interview:

AMY CHEN: Hi, my name is Amy Chen. I’m an editor at LinkedIn. I’m thrilled to be here today with the President and CEO of Marriott International, Arne Sorenson. Arne, thanks so much for joining us today.

ARNE SORENSON: Glad to be here, Amy.

AMY CHEN: You’ve written a post on LinkedIn about the state of the hospitality industry. In it, you talk about the need to be transparent. Why is that such a priority for you now?

ARNE SORENSON: I think the consumer world has shifted significantly in the last decade or so, probably accelerated by TripAdvisor, Airbnb, and a number of other review sites. Communities of consumers are getting together to provide feedback, real-time feedback, and feedback that they want to share with other folks. And so what we’ve discovered is that the feedback is really accurate for one thing. It gives us great stuff that we can react to quickly, and no longer is it a negative.

Ten years ago when we started to experiment with feedback, if we would post a review and if the review had anything but positive, it would scare people. I think today, people are smart enough to know there will be a range of experiences and a range of personalities from the reviewers.

So if you put it out there and be totally transparent with folks, they will say it shows that you respect our opinion, that you have nothing to hide from, and that you’re willing to take feedback. It’s a net positive.

Read Arne Sorenson’s related Influencer post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/state-hospitality-want-transparent-company-willing-do-arne-sorenson

LinkedIn Studios:
Moderator: Amy Chen
Camera & Mix: Dan Mills
Art & Animations: Jacqueline Zaccor
Producer: Florencia Iriondo

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