Front Desk

Global CEOs Optimistic About Obama

With plenty of pessimistic talk about the economy and the industry's ills last week in San Diego at ALIS, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to offer a couple optimistic views I heard. Two CEOs from companies based overseas went out of their way to express some hope because of this country's new leadership.

Accor CEO Gilles PĂ©lisson, whose company is based in France, pointed to the new administration as a sign of hope throughout the world during the Global Outlook Panel, and Jumeirah Group Executive Chairman Gerald Lawless expressed similar thoughts about President Obama in a one-on-one interview. "Americans are feeling more proud of themselves," said Lawless, who's company is based in Dubai. "(His election) has been received extremely positive (in the Middle East). He wants to have a dialogue about peace. There's a great feeling of optimism. It's a new beginning for America."

Whether that translates to increases in occupancy and RevPAR, or at least some positive strides in the global economy, remains to be seen. But at least there are a couple CEOs from major players in the industry finding glimmers of hope and renewed confidence in this country.

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