David Kelly, senior vice president for continental Europe at Hilton.
What does the reopening of the United States to international travelers mean for an American hotel group?
David Kelly – The reopening of the U.S. borders
is a key moment for the economic recovery of our industry. We are very pleased to be able to welcome our international guests back to our hotels across the Atlantic. Since September, when the rumours of a forthcoming reopening of the US border began to circulate, we have seen a resurgence of interest from European and British guests. During this period, the top five U.S. cities – New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Boston – were the focus of most online searches and bookings.
Airlines are reporting strong interest in the destination. Are you also seeing a boom in bookings from European travelers?
D. K. – Absolutely. Since the reopening of the border started to be discussed, online bookings on Hilton’s website for stays in the US have increased by +63%, mainly thanks to European and British customers. In turn, we have seen a similar trend across Europe, with an increase in demand from US guests following the lifting of health restrictions on their travel
Since the reopening of the border began to be discussed, online bookings on the Hilton website for stays in the United States have increased by +63%, mainly thanks to European and British customers.
How much of this demand comes from business travellers?
D. K. – Of course, bookings for leisure travel still make up the majority of bookings. But we know that there is a growing demand from business clients who need to travel for meetings or to attend conferences and corporate events.
As far as Europe is concerned, is the recovery in business travel and the MICE segment as good as you had hoped?
D. K. – The lifting of international restrictions, the roll-out of vaccine policies that have restored confidence in travel: all these factors have led to a very encouraging recovery. The way bookings in the business segment accelerated in the third quarter even exceeded our expectations. Many stays in France and Europe are primarily for business travel, meetings and corporate events.
How are your hotels handling this recovery?
D. K. – Our hotels have taken the necessary measures to facilitate the safe return of travelers.
approach, offering event organizers high-quality connected and contactless services. To support this evolution, we offer event managers the practical EventReady guide, which is now translated into several languages, including French, German, Spanish, Russian and Arabic. More globally, clients looking for quiet workspaces can also book day rooms at our hotels in France with our WorkSpace packages. The Tapestry Collection by Hilton is coming to Europe with the Atocha Hotel Madrid. (c) 2021 Hilton
What are the main openings of the Hilton Group in Western Europe in recent months?
D. K. – Despite a difficult year, Hilton’s development in Western Europe has continued at a steady pace, particularly for our lifestyle brands. We were very pleased to launch the Tapestry Collection by Hilton in Europe this year, with the Atocha Hotel in Madrid, followed by the Sé Catedral Hotel in Porto. The Tapestry Collection has also made its debut in France with the Hotel Camille Paris Gare de Lyon and soon the Hotel Belgrand Paris Champs-Élysées. The Canopy by Hilton brand has also appeared in Paris, in the Trocadero district. This fast-growing brand, which has nearly 30 properties and is expected to double in size in the coming years, has also seen the opening of the Canopy by Hilton Madrid Castellana and, in October, the Canopy by Hilton London City. This week, the UK capital will see a new member of the Curio Collection by Hilton with The Gantry London, while the brand will soon welcome The Emerald House in Lisbon. As we can see, the interest in our lifestyle brands is noticeable in the European market. </
I’m Michelle, and I love to travel. As a former hotel expert for one of the world’s largest hotel chains, I’ve stayed in nearly every type of room imaginable (including many that were not so desirable!). Nowadays, I am fortunate enough to be able to explore the world on my own terms. From international flights to learning different languages, there is nothing too far out of reach!