WHITE PLAINS, NY: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, parent company of the upscale Westin, Sheraton, and St. Regis chains, as well as the ultraluxury W line, has hired the Chisholm-Mingo Group (CMG) to consult on its multicultural communications initiatives."The multicultural business traveler represents a huge source of revenue for hotels, and our task will be to make Starwood properties top-of-mind when they are making decisions about where to stay,
said Christopher Dente, the managing director and VP of Chisholm-Mingo Plus, the PR wing of CMG.
"There's a number of strategies that can be pursued, from big things like overall ad campaigns, to little things like making African-American publications available to customers when they check in."
Like much of the lodging industry, Starwood has been accused of mistreating minorities. Two years ago, the company was among four hotel groups targeted in a boycott urged by NAACP president Kweisi Mfume. And on May 7 - the same day that the arrangement with CMG was announced - The Washington Post reported that the African-American chef-owner of a restaurant located in the Washington, DC St. Regis hotel had slapped Starwood with a $50 million discrimination lawsuit.