Name: Nancy Deck
Title: Vice president, multi-brand and loyalty marketing, Hilton Worldwide
Company, city: Hilton Worldwide; McLean, Va.
Number of employees: 130,000-plus
Recent projects: We launched new HHonors rewards in 2012 (Points & Money, Premium Room and Room Upgrade). We also launched HHonors Global Shopping Mall, a site where members can transform points into experiences or gifts, and HHonors Shop-to- Earn Mall, online shops where members earn Bonus Points through purchases.
First job: In high school, I worked in an old-fashioned toy store; every item was gift-wrapped, and I tested the toys. Even then, I had client service on the brain.
Little-known fact about you: Travel is not only my job, it’s also a passion. My favorite travel experience thus far was wine tasting in Mendoza, Argentina.
Nancy Deck’s Business
Essential business philosophy: Our company’s vision is to spread the light and warmth of hospitality — and that informs everything we do on a daily basis.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Listen to our guests and members; put their needs first, all the time.
Yardstick of success: Delivering the best travel experiences for guests and HHonors members. That’s tough to measure, and we do so carefully, using guest surveys and looking at indicators like how often a guest returns to our properties.
Nancy Deck as a Traveler
What is the most important item you take when traveling? My iPad, loaded with books, apps and information about where I’m visiting
How do you spend your time on board? I divide my time between work, reading and crossword puzzles, and on long flights, movies.
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? I love to try new and different restaurants, so I don’t have one favorite.
What is your favorite destination in the world? One favorite is Italy — the perfect combination of great food, art, fashion, architecture, shopping and people-watching.
About Hilton Worldwide
What can travelers expect from HHonors and Hilton Worldwide? From iconic luxury properties like the Waldorf Astoria to innovative focused-service hotels like Home2Suites, our brand portfolio is the largest and most diverse in the industry. Our Request Upon Arrival program allows guests to make a service request via our mobile apps prior to arrival. Hilton HHonors is the only program to offer guests the ability to earn hotel points and airline miles for the same hotel stay and enjoy hotel rewards with no blackout dates or capacity controls on all standard rooms.
What makes the Hilton properties unique? Hilton Worldwide has more than 3,900 hotels in 90 countries and 10 brands, which means we have a hotel for any occasion and any traveler at any time. We also have nearly a century of experience as a hospitality pioneer. That’s given us deep knowledge of guests’ needs and tremendous insights into how to best serve them, which, in turn, helps us improve our products and services. For example, HHonors last year introduced our New Reward offerings based on guest feedback, offering members more choices to redeem points for any available room, anywhere, anytime.
What is the most challenging aspect of competing in the current marketplace? The contraction of business travel as a result of the economic recession has been one of the biggest challenges we faced as an industry. But a more systemic, long-term challenge for us — especially as we grow around the world and as the economy recovers — is striking the right balance between thinking locally and globally in both our operations and our marketing. Hilton Worldwide’s value proposition is that each of our properties, in each of our markets, provides a consistently excellent experience. But we also have to adapt to the individual traveler and the individual market — from speaking the right language to understanding the culture where we’re operating — to ensure we’re accurately reflecting the experiences and expectations of all our guests.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
FOR THOSE OF US PASSIONATE about wellness pursuits and who feel most at peace close to the sea, there’s nothing quite like the synergy offered by a floating spa integrated into the setting of a luxurious cruise ship. I’m sailing through the Mediterranean from Rome to Barcelona, discovering along the way that the Crystal Life Spa & Beauty Salon on board the Crystal Serenity provides not only the element of high-end indulgence but also the cruise line’s signature commitment to attention and service.
CONSIDERING THAT JUST A LITTLE more than a century ago — 1910, to be exact — Miami’s population was only about 5,400 people, it’s easy to see why this South Florida hot spot has long been considered a boomtown. And the evolution continues to impress as the city gears up to welcome an array of new services, amenities and experiences.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.
Ethiopian Airlines added a daily non-stop between Brussels (BRU) and Addis Ababa (ADD). The carrier previously made stopovers in Vienna (VIE) three days a week, increasing the journey time from seven hours to nine.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Last month, British Airways announced plans to offset carbon emissions from all its flights within the United Kingdom. The initiative begins next year and carbon emissions are offset via the United Nations’ carbon offsetting scheme, which invests in carbon reduction projects around the world, such as reforestation and rainforest protection.