Name: Mark Sergot
Title: Senior vice president, Global Sales
Company, city: IHG Hotels & Resorts; Atlanta, Georgia
First job: Guest service agent at a downtown Chicago convention hotel
Where to next: Cannes, to attend the International Luxury Travel Market
A LITTLE BIT MORE
What actor or actress would play you in a movie of your life?
Well, when I had hair, I looked like him more, but Tom Hanks. He really cares about history and seems compassionate.
What would you be doing professionally if you weren’t in your current industry?
I’d be a journalist in some capacity, either print, digital or broadcast.
What is your favorite book, movie or television show?
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts is my favorite book. I’ve spent a lot of time in India, and this book is a great description of the country. At more than 500 pages, it is extraordinary, compelling and riveting.
What historical figure, dead or alive, would you love to have dinner with?
Mahatma Gandhi; he led an extraordinary life.
What is your most recent project, and what was the inspiration behind it?
Participating in the rollout of our new loyalty program, IHG One Rewards. Our focus on the individual and what matters to them as they travel is at the heart of IHG One Rewards. This is both inspiring and exciting, as we know personalization is a high priority for our guests. Members have choices on how they want to engage and can focus on their preferences, those things that are important to them. In addition, there’s greater opportunity for them to earn points. IHG One Rewards is a competitive and compelling program that offers refreshed and new options.
What is your favorite aspect of the job?
Connecting with colleagues and customers around the world. Learning about their markets, customs and culture is fascinating; enjoying the local food and beverage is even better!
What’s the biggest business risk you’ve ever taken?
Any time you reorganize a sales force there is always risk around relationship and revenue. Following a highly collaborative framework reduces this work, yet the process always produces a certain level of anxiety.
Who is someone you admire professionally in the travel industry?
Horst Schulze, of The Ritz- Carlton, and Isadore Sharp, of Four Seasons, were both pivotal in the creation of their respective brands, boasting exceptional attention to detail and building the foundation for a luxury travel experience. Chris Cahill, the former CEO of luxury brands at Accor, is the most passionate, humble and respectful leader in the business.
AS A TRAVELER
Tell us about a travel nightmare: Significant travel delays, of hours or days, are always nightmares. Quickly getting over it and utilizing the time to be productive is key.
Share a comical travel experience: I always laugh about a colleague whose foot/leg was in a cast, preventing her from wearing a shoe on that foot, yet she brought seven-plus “pairs” of shoes in her luggage that I had to carry on a weeklong trip. What is your preferred method of travel — planes, trains, automobiles, cruise ships — and why? Where possible, I prefer traveling via train. The ability to take in the journey, get work done and enjoy a nice meal is simply terrific.
What has been the best example of customer service you’ve experienced during your travels? Traveling through India showcased a passion for service like no other I’ve experienced. At every touchpoint there was a genuine, heartfelt welcome and desire to assist. India is a special place for a variety of reasons; service and attention to detail top the list.
Corsica with steep, gray cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean and sandy beaches attracting summer visitors, is a French-governed island sometimes confused with Sardinia and Sicily, Italian islands to the south. Fortunately, all three islands share the same love for good wine, food and sun-splashed beaches.
Are you looking to enhance your business trip with a little leisure? Look no further than Portugal, a country renowned for its captivating blend of history, culture and natural beauty. And with TAP Air Portugal, you can effortlessly transform your business trip into an unforgettable bleisure adventure. Discover why Portugal and TAP Air Portugal are the perfect combination for an enriching and rejuvenating experience.
If you’re ready to do a little holiday catch-up with your besties, make a beeline for Conrad New York Downtown. The lobby metamorphosed into a holiday forest of heavenly scented, decorated Virginia Spruce trees. Make your first stop ATRIO Barista Station in the lobby for a complimentary hot spiced apple cider (until Dec. 3) or hot chocolate (Dec. 22–24).
The Saronic or Argo Saronic Islands of Greece call travelers to explore its seven small islands and islets brimming with history, natural sites and more. With most easily accessible by boat, the islands’ proximity to ports of Athens make the Saronic Islands an ideal destination for those preferring shorter boat rides. In fact, trips from Athens ports to the islands take only between 10 minutes and two hours, depending on the island you choose, making them perfect for day or weekend trips. From Piraeus port, you can access Hydra, Spetses, Aegina and Poros directly. Come explore these stunning islands with us and find the inspiration to plan your next trip to these islands. Hydra Hydra town curves around a slope overlooking the Argosaronic Gulf like an amphitheater and is considered one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Most unique to the island is its lack of vehicles. People on the island get around on mules and donkeys as well as water taxis, making for a peaceful and laid-back day. Hydra lies a two-hour ferry ride from Piraeus port in Athens.
London welcomes its newest boutique hotel just in time for the holiday season. The Chelsea Townhouse, located on Chelsea’s exclusive Cadogan Gardens, sits within proximity to its sister hotel, 11 Cadogan Gardens, and joins the Iconic Luxury Hotels portfolio.
Reconnecting the World: GBTA Convention 2023 Spotlights the Vital Role of Business Travel and In-Person Connection
In an increasingly digital and interconnected world, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention remains an indispensable platform for business travel industry professionals seeking to make the most of the power of face-to-face connections. Taking place August 13–15 in Dallas, the 2023 GBTA Convention provides the unique opportunity for professionals and companies to join visionaries, thought leaders and industry experts for meaningful networking, cutting-edge insights and inspiring innovation.
The Tampa EDITION recently launched two new offerings this festive season. Book the Holiday in the Sun promotion and receive complimentary valet, $50 in food and beverage credit, $50 in spa credit, and a signature EDITION Le Labo amenity. This offer runs through Jan. 5. Book here.