Name: Joe Berger
Title: President, Americas
Company, city: Hilton; McLean, Va.
Number of employees: 165,000 worldwide and 65,000 in the Americas
Recent project: We recently opened Conrad Chicago on the Magnificent Mile and will open the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills this June, the first new-build Waldorf Astoria on the West Coast.
First job: I began my hospitality career as a bellman at the Marriott Hotel at Dulles International Airport.
Little-known fact about you: You would never know it by my personality, but I am a highly introverted person.
What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years?
Mobile phones will continue to lead the way for innovation in the travel industry, making way for great opportunities for the Hilton app. You can make your reservation, pick and view your room, check in and use your smartphone as your key. We continue to add features like restaurant recommendations, reservations and Uber connections, all tied in with Hilton Honors. But no matter how far innovations go, we are still in the people business; technology only frees up time for our hoteliers to spend more effort delivering hospitality. Our goal is to be the most hospitable company in the world.
Best career advice you’ve received: Be curious about everything you do. “Look under the hood” and try to understand what makes things work.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? It’s a people business, and the most important asset is the people who work for you. I try to do a better job making my team feel like they are part of a family and a community, making sure they understand how difficult travel can be at times and that we are there to help.
Joe Berger as a Traveler
Favorite travel memory or story: When I took my family on a three-week safari trip to Tanzania and Kenya, we stayed in a diverse range of accommodations from 5-star hotels to tented camps so we would encounter different experiences in a good cross-section of lodging.
One travel tip you cannot live without: I rely on the Flightboard app, which helps me manage flights and lets me know when my arriving connection will be available.
Best advice for business travelers: Every business traveler needs to have our Hilton app. Hilton Honors is like a club, and we are creating innovative ways for guests to use points, including cash for bookings and using points to purchase on amazon.com.
What is Hilton Management Services?
Hilton Management Services is Hilton’s management company. What separates us from others is our understanding of running hotels from 2,800 rooms to 100. A key advantage is our Hilton culture, recognized as one of the leading corporate cultures in the world. Among recent awards/accolades, Hilton was included in Fortune 100’s Best Companies to Work For list last year and in 2017. The environment we create for our team members translates into the environment we provide for our guests — happy team members make for happy customers and hotel owners.
Tell our readers about openings in the coming year.
We have Conrad hotels slated for Cartagena, Colombia; San Luis Potosi, Mexico (the first Conrad in Mexico); Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and the Hilton Rio de Janeiro Copacabana in Brazil (the 100th Hilton in Latin America). Tapestry Collection by Hilton, our 14th brand, just launched this year on the success of Curio, which falls under the upper-upscale category; Tapestry is geared toward the upscale segment. The collection includes hotels with an “essence of place,” properties where guests know they will receive an independent hotel experience while still receiving the benefits of Hilton’s affiliation.
What can travelers anticipate from the brand?
We believe in organic growth; we need to be where our customers want the brands. We offer a network of quality brands available at various price points and “stays” based on whether our customer is attending a soccer trip with family or a trip of a lifetime to one of our iconic hotels. A loyalty program that answers needs on an immediate basis supports it all.
At FXExpress Publications, Inc., we can’t wait to #ComeBacktoTravel, and we can’t wait for the travel industry and others to #ComeBacktoGT. Join us over the next several weeks as we entice you with photos from some of the places we’re most excited to visit. Take a visual journey through some of London’s most breathtaking sights with us.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate gets a new look this fall, with renovations planned for all guestrooms, villas, public spaces and meeting rooms. The next phase of the property’s renovations begins in June and is expected to elevate the overall guest experience. Guestroom renovations are scheduled to wrap up in early fall, while meeting and function space, as well as lobby, renovations were completed over the winter.
The cruise industry responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with updates on cancellations and rebooking policies. Here’s an update.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
A new partnership between Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island and Tropicsurf gives guests at the property yet another fun activity to enjoy throughout the year. Tropicsurf provides a variety of surfing programs, including 60-minute, introductory lessons for beginners, as well as programming for more confident surfers.
Belmond introduced its Tomorrow Time Travel Pass to allow travelers to start planning for the future. With no expiration date and available across Belmond’s portfolio, Tomorrow Time Travel Passes are both gift cards and e-cards; travelers receive a bonus $100 voucher when purchasing a $500 gift card, or $200 when spending more than $1,000.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
New research from the Global Business Travel Association shows a bit of optimism for the travel industry. GBTA conducted its seventh poll (since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic) of its membership May 13–15, and received 1,705 member company responses.