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Day 2 Recap of NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference

From the Future of Travel to the Consolidation, Scaling, and Restructuring of the Hospitality Industry to a Focus on Diversity and Inclusion, Discussions Addressed the Myriad Changes Occurring on All Fronts

Photo Credit: ©Creighton: Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau

NEW YORK, November 9, 2021 During the final day of the 43rd Annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, a wide range of topics was discussed that illustrated the accelerated pace at which the industry is evolving while providing a preview of what’s to come. Stimulating general sessions and roundtables provided deep insights into the factors that will be most critical as the industry continues to recover from the pandemic.

Photo credit: Stephen Hausler
  • During “The Leaders Check-In – Part Two: Consolidation, Scale, and the Structure of the Hospitality Industry, panelists discussed a wide array of topics related to the hospitality industry, including the impact of technology; the labor force; consumer demand; and the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Scott D. Berman, principal and US hospitality industry leader at PwC, moderated the panel, which featured Geoff Ballotti, president and chief executive officer at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts; Michael J. Deitemeyer, president and chief executive officer at Aimbridge Hospitality; Stephanie Linnartz, president, Marriott International; Elie Maalouf, chief executive officer, Americas, IHG Hotels & Resorts; and Patrick Pacious, president and chief executive officer, Choice Hotels International. The panel started on a personal note with each executive sharing a story regarding the pandemic and its impact on their personal life and/or professional trajectory. One theme was resoundingly clear—everyone enjoyed the extended family time. Following these stories, each individual shared their insights into how the travel and hospitality industry will continue to evolve as things pick back up. They all agreed that while online and virtual meetings can be very productive, they cannot replace authentic, in-person interactions that are such an invaluable part of doing business. The panelists also discussed the many labor challenges facing the industry—from staffing issues to creating equitable opportunities for all employees.

The Conference focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion and the ways in which the hospitality industry can play a leadership role in ensuring that people from all walks of life can excel in a field that offers so much opportunity.

Photo Credit: ©Creighton: Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau
  • During a roundtable discussion titled “Forging a New Path Toward Racial Equity in the C-Suite,” which was moderated by David Marriott, director, board of directors, Marriott International, Wayne A.I. Frederick, MD, president of Howard University, and Andrew Hamilton, PhD, president of New York University, discussed their respective institution’s commitments to ensuring that individuals from underrepresented racial groups are empowered through education to succeed at the highest levels of the industry. Each gave examples of the many initiatives their universities have instituted and will institute to ensure equitable outcomes. Recently, Howard University, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, and the hospitality industry joined together to launch the Marriott-Sorenson Center for Hospitality Leadership, which will serve to change the complexion of hospitality leaders by creating a pipeline to the executive suite.
  • During a lunchtime discussion titled “Partnering for Change: A Dean’s Discussion,” NYU SPS Associate Dean Nicolas Graf and Howard University School of Business Dean Anthony D. Wilbon discussed the need to create meaningful pathways for students from underrepresented racial groups to be able to graduate with the skills and the professional networks that lead to successful careers in hospitality. Associate Dean Graf then announced two new full scholarships that will be created through the generous support of Loews Hotels & Co and its Chairman and CEO, Jonathan Tisch. The Loews Hotels Scholarship and the Jonathan M. Tisch Scholarship will be bestowed annually upon two graduates of Howard University and/or other Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCU), who seek to pursue a master’s degree at the NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality. The students who will receive this tuition assistance will be known as the Loews Hotels Scholar and the Jonathan M. Tisch Scholar respectively.
  • A late afternoon discussion between Patrick Clark of Bloomberg and Sébastien M. Bazin, chairman and chief executive officer of Accor, revealed how profoundly the pandemic has affected industry leaders. Bazin expressed how much he has learned over the past few years as the industry has grappled with this global crisis. He highlighted the need for top talent at all levels of the hospitality industry, interdependency between big companies and smaller organizations, and a focus on what matters most. Heading into 2022, he is optimistic—people want to see family and friends, and to enjoy life, and that is exactly what the hospitality industry is all about.

About the NYU SPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality

The NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, now celebrating 25 years of academic excellence, is a leading center for the study of hospitality, travel, and tourism. Founded in 1995, the Tisch Center was established in response to the growing need for hospitality and tourism undergraduate and graduate education. Its cutting-edge curricula attract bright, motivated students who seek to become leaders in their fields.Through its undergraduate degree in hotel and tourism management, its graduate degrees in hospitality industry studies, tourism management, and event management; a plethora of Professional Pathways programs; and its world-renowned hospitality investment conference, students gain the knowledge and the skill sets that enable them to manage change, to communicate, to thrive in complex work environments, and to advance the businesses of hospitality, travel, and tourism. The Tisch Center recently launched the Hospitality Innovation Hub (HI Hub), which will foster entrepreneurship and creative solutions for the industries it serves. The state-of-the-art facilities offer students, start-ups, established industry partners, and investors opportunities to learn, discover, innovate, and invest.For more information about the NYU SPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, visit