May 19
The Path Forward: Travel & Tourism
The dramatic spread of COVID-19 has upended the hospitality industry. How is it adapting to recover destinations and livelihoods in the midst of this unprecedented crisis?Hilton president and CEO Chris Nassetta joined Washington Post Live to discuss the coronavirus and its impact on the travel and tourism industry.
Highlights
Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta said he thinks it will take “3 to 4 years” for Hilton’s demand to return to what it was in 2019. ‘I think there’s so much damage being done to so many businesses out there that I think when you get to the other side of this...you will be in some form of recession for a period of time that will take time to sort of get through.’ But he added that, “The long term prospects for our business are spectacular."
  • May 19
Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta describes what a hotel visit in the future may be like, including breaking a seal to enter your room, controlling your room via the Hilton app and ‘knock-and-drop’ room service. ‘Some of those things I just described are new...and some of it are things that we were doing. We just are now going to lean into it more heavily.’
  • May 19
Chris Nassetta, Hilton president and CEO, said while business during the coronavirus pandemic has been challenging, there are early signs of economic recovery. He says all 250 to 300 Hilton properties in China are back open, and the company is getting more requests to open hotels in the U.S. than to close them.
  • May 19
When asked if he thinks public companies should take federal assistance, Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta said if companies have access to public markets, that is what they should rely upon. “A housekeeper that is out of work does not know whether she or he works for a big, medium or small company…This is all about jobs…The only way we get the economy restarted is getting people re-employed. Whether you’re big small or medium, if you go bust because you have no access to liquidity and it becomes an insolvency issue, which is what will happen, you are not going to be in a position to re-employ large amounts of people.”
  • May 19
When asked what properties have been performing well recently, Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta said beach and holiday markets have seen an increase in occupancy as Memorial Day weekend approaches. “Florida, I suspect, is going to have a very good Memorial Day weekend…Even though there’s no parks open, no Disney, people want to get out.”
  • May 19
Chris Nassetta
President and CEO, Hilton
Christopher J. Nassetta is President and Chief Executive Officer for Hilton. He joined the company in 2007. Previously, Mr. Nassetta was President and Chief Executive Officer of Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., a position he held since 2000. He joined Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. in 1995 as Executive Vice President and was elected Chief Operating Officer in 1997. Before joining Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., Mr. Nassetta co-founded Bailey Capital Corporation in 1991, where he was responsible for the operations of the real estate investment and advisory firm. Prior to founding Bailey Capital Corporation, he spent seven years at The Oliver Carr Company, ultimately serving as Chief Development Officer. In this role, he was responsible for all development and related activities for one of the largest commercial real estate companies in the mid-Atlantic region. Mr. Nassetta graduated from the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce with a degree in finance. He currently serves on the McIntire School of Commerce Advisory Board.
Michael Duffy
Opinions Editor at Large, The Washington Post
About Washington Post Live
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