FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Christie Hicks, Senior Vice President, Starwood Sales Organization, Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Mar 20, 2014
2014 / April 2014

Name: Christie Hicks
Title: Senior vice president, Starwood Sales Organization
Company, city: Starwood Hotels & Resorts; Stamford, Conn.
Number of employees: 171,000 worldwide
Recent project: With our goal to be the easiest hotel company to do business with, we developed StarwoodPro, an educational program to provide our travel professional partners with tools and programs to help grow their business. We recently introduced a new core module on upselling to help them increase loyalty and profits. The program offers six modules geared toward business development and a growing library of destination immersions, including nine options, with more to come in 2014.
First job: Secretary, Hyatt Regency New Orleans
Little-known fact about you: I learned to speak and cook Italian while living in Italy in my 20s. I make a mean spaghetti carbonara.

Your Business

Essential business philosophy: Please your customers and the rest will follow.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Always ask, “What could we have done better?”

Yardstick of success: Being emulated by your competition and talked about by your customers.

Christie Hicks as a Traveler

What is the most important item you take when traveling? My iPad mini

How do you spend your time on board? Reading and sleeping

What is your favorite restaurant in the world? Café des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta

What is your favorite destination? Anywhere in Italy

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts

What features and amenities are available at Starwood Hotels to attract business travelers? Starwood is the most global high-end hotel company, and our nine lifestyle brands — Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis, W Hotels, Le Méridien, The Luxury Collection, Element, Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton — offer a variety of accommodations in 100 countries around the world. We continue to expand our portfolio and have openings in 2014 in key growth markets including China, Brazil, Mexico, the Middle East, Indonesia and Africa.

We offer business travelers accommodations and innovations that help them perform during their travels, including social spaces such as the Link@Sheraton experienced with Microsoft and Sheraton Club; Tangent at Westin workspace for small, impromptu meetings; and fitness programs like Westin Gear Lending with New Balance, SuperfoodsRX, Sheraton Fitness by Core Performance and Color Your Plate to help business travelers maintain their healthy lifestyle on the road.

What does Starwood do to attract millennial travelers? We’re driving industry firsts in digital, mobile and social innovations which differentiate Starwood from its competitors. We were the first in the industry to launch unedited ratings and reviews, the first to leverage state-aware technology on our mobile applications, the first to build an iPad app on Apple’s new iOS7 and the first to offer mobile check-in. We are investing $100 million in mobile, R&D, and on-property and associate innovation in the digital space.

Tell us about the unique benefits to frequent travelers enrolled in the SPG program. Starwood Preferred Guest, our award-winning loyalty program for all nine Starwood brands, rewards members with Starpoints for hotel stays and amenities and provides once-in-a-lifetime experiences pertaining to our guests’ interests in music, sports and culture. SPG’s breakthrough policy of no blackout dates at the world’s most sought-after collection of hotels reinvented the hospitality loyalty program when it launched in 1999. We offer frequent business travelers three tiers of membership with best-in-class earning and redemption options for free nights, personal ambassadors, Lifetime status and more. We recently announced an industry-first partnership with Delta Air Lines called Crossover Rewards, which extends loyalty outside the hotel room and beyond the window seat, enriching the experience for elite travelers. SPG members can now earn Starpoints on eligible Delta flights; receive coveted benefits of Delta Medallion members and vice versa; and they can redeem Starpoints for room upgrades with no blackout dates, flights, merchandise, spa amenities, unique experiences and exclusive events through Moments by SPG. Our SPG App for iPhone and Android uses state-aware technology, allowing members to view hotel information, check-in history and point balance, and has been downloaded more than 2 million times.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions


Insta Feed
September 2023
Sep 25, 2023

More Cruise Lines Move Toward Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Voyages

Less than five years ago the world’s first hybrid cruise ship, Hurtigruten ExpeditionsMS Roald Amundsen, set sail for Antarctica in November 2019 with 450 passengers. The battery-hybrid-powered ship, named for the first man to cross the continent and reach the South Pole, was built specifically for voyages in polar waters. Its battery-hybrid power reduces the ship’s consumption and CO2 emissions by 20 percent compared to equally sized ships.

IHG® Hotels & Resorts Introduces Effortless WiFi Connection for Guests Worldwide

IHG Hotels & Resorts is thrilled to announce the launch of a new mobile product feature for members: IHG Wi-Fi Auto Connect. This feature is now available exclusively in the IHG One Rewards mobile app for both iOS and Android users and will automatically connect IHG One Rewards members to WiFi upon arrival at more than 5,000 IHG hotels worldwide — no separate passwords or log-ins needed. This is in addition to the exciting benefits of being an IHG Business Edge member. IHG Business Edge provides small- and medium-sized businesses access to a user-friendly portal that displays comprehensive spending and savings data while providing the convenience of direct booking with a guaranteed discount.

Sep 25, 2023

What to Do If You Leave Something Behind on a Plane

A few months ago, I flew Polaris business class on a United flight from Dulles (IAD) to Paris (CDG). It was only when I got to my hotel in Paris I realized that I didn’t have my iPad or its bag or accessories. Since I had been working on it in the restaurant in the Polaris lounge and then went directly to the gate, I knew I either left it propped up on my table when I packed up or in my business-class seat. But what was the best method to alert the airline about my careless mishap and (hopefully) retrieve it? With spotty data and WiFi, searching for information on my phone was frustrating and slow. Here’s what I learned from the anxiety-inducing experience (and unexpected ending) about what to do if you leave something behind on your flight:

Sep 25, 2023

This 5-Star Resort Forms a New Identity on the Pacific Ocean

Solmar Hotels & Resorts introduces Grand Solmar Pacific Dunes, previously known as Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The hotel renewed its name and image to highlight the property’s natural attributes while maintaining the quality of its services and experiences.

Hit the High Notes in Nashville

Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.

Sep 25, 2023

Up Norway Announces New Sustainable Journeys

Specializing in bespoke adventures in some truly spectacular locations, Up Norway proves sustainability and luxury can go hand in hand. Ideal for families and small groups, the newly launched Coastal, Rural and Urban Norway Journey takes travelers on an immersive, eight-day expedition embracing the concept of slow travel.

Sep 21, 2023

Soak in Philadelphia’s Charm with This Epicurean Lovers Weekend Getaway

If fabulous food and beverages are a must-have for any weekend getaway, then look no further than the City of Brotherly Love. Whether your palate has a penchant for vibrant Latin American fare or cozy French cuisine, whether you're an oenophile looking to swirl, sniff and sip your way around the globe or you’d rather sample farm-to-glass cocktails, Philly’s got it all this fall. (With the exception of Bolo, which is a short taxi or Uber ride away and definitely worth the trip, the rest of these spots are all within walking distance of each other.)

Why Buy Annual Travel Insurance?

One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.

Sep 21, 2023

These Hotels Have Some of the Best Room Views in the World

From Santoríni to Dubai to New York, some hotels just have that “it” factor that draws visitors far and wide. For some hotels it’s their proximity to popular landmarks and attractions, for others it’s their amenities. But these hotels have something few can claim: a true room with a view.