Starwood Hotel Chain Today, Businesses Research Proposal

Length: 8 pages Sources: 25 Subject: Recreation Type: Research Proposal Paper: #49015747 Related Topics: Poland, Heritage Assessment, Tourism, Hospitality Industry
Excerpt from Research Proposal :

S.S.R. This has resulted in a renewed tourist enthusiasm to visit these countries. The imaging process involved a portrayal of conformity to the European paradigm, a projection of a safe and friendly environment, and the development of niche tourism products to attract visitors. These efforts have culminated in countries such as Hungary and Poland becoming very attractive tourist markets. This creates a favorable climate for hotel chain expansion.

In a writing that dates ten years later, Hughes and Allen (2009: 188) also indicate this. Factors in favor of CEE countries and the tourist demand for travel in these countries include their EU membership and associated publicity, as well as the above-mentioned increase of "Europeanness," as opposed to communism, in these countries. Indeed, Hungary and Poland ranked 15th and 17th respectively in the world when surveyed for their international tourist arrivals (Hughes and Allen, 2008). Croatia, Estonia, and Lithuania also showed significant increases in international tourism.

Another important factor is heritage. From the basis of being European, the CEE countries have also shown a trend towards displaying their past heritage in terms of monuments and buildings (Hall, 2001: 411; Ratz, Smith and Michalko, 2008: 429). These are important environmental factors that Starwood can take into account when expanding to these countries.

The literature therefore appears to indicate that, while Russia's potential for hotel chain expansion is indeed significant, there are various practical, administrative and political issues that will need to enjoy attention before such expansion will be optimal. An alternative can be to expand to the CEE regions surrounding the country. Once the hotel chain is established in these countries, a basis is created for future expansion into Russia. Factors such as the culture and heritage of these countries should also be taken into account.



The aim of this research is to determine the possibilities of the Russian market for expansion by the Starwood hotel chain. Starwood has significant strength, in that it has both financial and market strength. It is recognized as one of the strongest chains across the world, and its international expansion ventures have been significantly successful. The Russian market in turn is however difficult in terms of certain industry factors deterring international tourists from visiting the country.

In order to determine the extent of these influencing factors, data will be gathered on the Russian hospitality industry and the Starwood chain. This information can then be used to guide the analysis of the market an the potential success of Starwood in the Russian market.

Data Collection and Analysis Strategy

For this particular report the researcher will be using a variety of different informational tools to come to a sound and accurate conclusion to the question as stated. One of the first of these is research sources such as news, Internet, and journal articles and books. This will establish a sound theoretical basis for further data and information gathering, as well as cultivate the researcher's understanding of the market and the company seeking to enter it.

Publicly available resources will then be used to investigate Starwood's financial status, as well as those of hotel chains that currently operate in Russia and the country's surrounding regions. Other information that can be gathered in this regard is the international presence of companies currently operating in Russia, and also Starwood's success level in its existing foreign markets. These investigations will also be conducted by means of examining the company's profit and loss statements for each country it has entered so far. This can then be compared to the same records for hotel chains currently operating in Russia to give an indication of the potential success of Starwood in this country.

Reliability of Data

Reliability will be ensured by means of comparison. Several reports will be accessed and compared for any discrepancies. While the Internet and news often tend to be biased, these are valuable resources to use as a springboard for identifying specific areas of research. Databases such as Sage and Science Direct are however good sources of academic information on the Internet. These will be used extensively for determining the likelihood of entry success for hotel chains in the Russian market.

On the other hand, it must be recognized that


An effort will however be made to ensure the highest possible degree of reliability.


The greatest challenge will be to find accurate financial data on companies currently operating in Russia. It may be difficult to contact these companies for information, and furthermore they may be unwilling to share such information. To limit this possibility, a standard indication will be given of the aim of the study and the objective of using the data provided. Furthermore, data will only be published with each company's full and written permission, while he companies themselves will remain anonymous.


In conclusion, the researcher believes that the process of data collection and analysis will provide a sound basis of information to make a decision regarding market entry into Russia. There will be a sufficient set of advantages and disadvantages to make a comparison and analysis to indicate the best possible strategy that Starwood can follow.


Bartl, H (1999) The hotel market in the former Eastern Bloc -- An overview. Journal of Vacation Marketing, Vol 3, No 4. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010.

Chasan, E (2010) Extended Stay accepts Starwood reorganization bid. Reuters, 17 March. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010.

De Lollis, B (2008) CEO Profile: Starwood, Van Paasschen both on the move. USA Today, 23 June. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010.

Drohan, R and Foley, A (2009) Towards A Resource-Based View Of The Firm Perspective On Enhancing Customer Relationships In The Hotel Industry. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010

Fleischer, A and Rivlin, J (2009) More or Better?: Quantity and Quality Issues in Tourism Consumption. Journal of Travel Research, Vol 47. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010

Hall, D (1999) Destination branding, niche marketing and national image projection in Central and Eastern Europe. Journal of Vacation Marketing, Vol. 5, no. 227. Internet Accessed on 07/11/2010

Hall, D (2008) From 'Bricklaying' to 'Bricolage': Transition and Tourism Development in Central and Eastern Europe. Tourism Geographies, Vol 10, No 4. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010

Hughes, HL (2008) Visitor and non-visitor destination images: The influence of political instability in South-Eastern Europe. Tourism, 1 March. Internet Accessed on 07/11/2010

Hughes, HL and Allen, D (2008). Visitor and Non-visitor Images of Central and Eastern Europe: a Qualitative Analysis. International Journal of Tourism Research, Vol 10. Internet Accessed on 07/11/2010

Hughes, HL and Allen, D (2009). Central and Eastern Europe and EU accession 2004: Views of the impact on tourism. Tourism and Hospitality Research Vol. 9, No 3, 2009. Internet Accessed on 07/11/2010

Johnson, C and Vanetti, M (2005) Locational Strategies Of International Hotel Chains. Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 1077 -- 1099, 2005

Kayaman, R and Arasli, H (2007) Customer-based brand equity: evidence from the hotel industry. Internet. Accessed on 06/11/2010

Kruszka, M (2007) International Trade in Services and the Impact of Liberalization on Tourism in CEE Countries. Seventh International Conference on "Enterprise in Transition." Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010

Lukyanchikov, A (2010) Russia Tourism Industry Continues To Grow. The Washington Post. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010

Maria, PI and Dionisios, KS (2008) Democratization Process and Tourism Industry at the Region of West Balkans: Tourism as a Sociopolitical Force. Annals of the University of Oradea, Economic Science Series, 1 March. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010

Mintel (2004) European Hotel Chain Expansion, Travel & Tourism Analyst, May 2004. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010.

Ovcharov, A. (2009). Russia's Tourism Industry: Trends and Risks Problems of Economic Transition, Vol. 51, No. 5, September. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010

Pekar, V and Ou, S (2008) Discovery of subjective evaluations of product features in hotel reviews. Journal of Vacation Marketing, Vol 14, No. 2. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010

Puczko, L, Ratz, T and Smith, M (2007) Old City, New Image: Perception, Positioning and Promotion of Budapest. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, Vol. 22, no 3/4. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010

Ratz, T, Smith, M and Michalko, A (2008) New Places in Old Spaces: Mapping

Tourism and Regeneration in Budapest. Tourism Geographies, Vol 10, No 4. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010 (2010) The East Expansion of International Hotel Chains. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010.

Rozhkov, Y (2008) Russian Tourism Industry Regears for Change. The St. Petersburg Times, 20 June. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010

Xuequan, M (2010) Russia plans to develop tourism industry. Internet: Accessed on 06/11/2010

Sources Used in Documents:


Bartl, H (1999) The hotel market in the former Eastern Bloc -- An overview. Journal of Vacation Marketing, Vol 3, No 4. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010.

Chasan, E (2010) Extended Stay accepts Starwood reorganization bid. Reuters, 17 March. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010.

De Lollis, B (2008) CEO Profile: Starwood, Van Paasschen both on the move. USA Today, 23 June. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010.

Drohan, R and Foley, A (2009) Towards A Resource-Based View Of The Firm Perspective On Enhancing Customer Relationships In The Hotel Industry. Internet Accessed on 06/11/2010

Cite this Document:

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