REPORT: Hotel Boards Are Becoming Increasingly Diverse

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Increase in women and Black board directors signals progress in the effort to diversify corporate boards across the hotel industry 

WASHINGTON, DC (September 29, 2023) – The percentage of hotel industry board seats held by Black members and women members, respectively, is going up. That’s according to recent research commissioned by AHLA Foundation and conducted by Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management. The increase exceeds the 2022 average in both categories for firms in the Russell 3000 Index, signaling progress in the effort to diversify corporate boards.  

The report highlights multiple gains for the industry. The 2022 data set analyzed 230 board members at 28 companies between 2016-2022. Key findings include:  

•  Women occupied 31.3% of independent board seats on hotel public company boards in 2022, a significant increase from 22.5% in 2021. This exceeds the 2022 average for firms in the Russell 3000 Index, which was 28.4% women. 

•  Only one publicly traded hotel firm has no women on its board of trustees. In 2021, there were two firms with no women on their boards. 

•  67% of directors who were new to a board in 2022 were women.  

•  In 2022, 12.6% of hotel public company board members were Black, a significant increase from 6.5% in 2021. This exceeds the 2022 average for firms in the Russell 300 Index, which was approximately 6% Black and is approaching the overall percentage of the U.S. population that is Black (13.6%). 

•  22% of directors who were new to a board in 2022 were Black. 

“It’s encouraging to see this progress. Our industry recognizes that with the board’s role in governance and oversight, increased diversity on hotel boards is a pathway to a more diverse hotel industry,” said Anna Blue, President of AHLA Foundation. “The business case for diversity is clear. Research validates the value of diverse perspectives and experiences in our organizations, which shows up in our business as better recruitment and retention, more innovation, and greater success overall.”   

The investment in this report to increase diversity is part of AHLA Foundation’s 5-year, $5 million commitment to advance DE&I across the hospitality industry.   

Click here to view the full report.  

About AHLA Foundation   

The AHLA Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, works to support the hotel and lodging industry’s greatest asset – its people. By connecting employees, employers, and their communities, we seek to continuously nurture a culture of professional growth and belonging. When the people who work in our industry thrive, the industry thrives along with them. The Foundation is funded by grants and charitable contributions from generous individuals and organizations who want to support individuals seeking opportunities to thrive in the hotel and lodging industry. Learn more at 

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FNA 112: We Got This Show in The Baig!

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Former hotelier Haroon Baig questions why he chose to do a show with Glenn, Craig and Producer Dave while sipping cocktails.

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AHLA on THAT Potential NJ Legislation

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There’s been lots discussion (under statement!) around a specific proposed bill (A1958/S3165) in NJ. The American Hotel & Lodging Association contends it’d destroy the hotel franchising model as we know it, and more.

I spoke with AHLA President & CEO William “Chip” Rogers to get a better understanding the association is fighting against bill passage.

How do you see it?

Thanks Unifocus , technology that drives value, for supporting this video.


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Israel VWP Admission to Add $1.8 Billion to U.S. Economy

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WASHINGTON (September 28, 2023)—U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman issued the following statement on Israel’s admission to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

“The highly successful Visa Waiver Program has a proven record of boosting travel exports and U.S. global competitiveness, benefiting U.S. destinations, businesses and the broader American economy. Following Israel’s admission to the Visa Waiver Program, the U.S. can expect to welcome 200,000 additional Israeli visitors per year, generating an additional $800 million in direct travel spending and producing an economic impact of roughly $1.8 billion.

“U.S. Travel has long called for an expansion of the Visa Waiver Program for its numerous security and economic benefits. The U.K., one of the biggest competitors for global travelers, permits visa-free travel for more than 100 countries while the U.S. allows only 41 countries the same access. It is critical that the Biden administration continues to work alongside our key inbound markets to grow this vital program and increase U.S. global competitiveness.”

U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing the $1.2 trillion travel industry, an essential contributor to our nation’s economy and success. U.S. Travel produces programs and insights and advocates for policies to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit for information and recovery-related data.

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Waterwalk Growth Up 75% This Year

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AHLA Grows Leadership Team with New Promotions

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WASHINGTON (Sept. 27, 2023) – The American Hotel & Lodging Association today announced two promotions among its leadership team. 

Haleigh Hildebrand was promoted to vice president, campaigns & political strategy. In her new role, Hildebrand will guide AHLA’s efforts to build grassroots and grasstops programs that support a healthy and growing hotel industry. Prior to her promotion, Hildebrand was AHLA’s senior director of government & political affairs, and she previously served as an assistant political director at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Ashley McNeil was promoted to vice president, federal affairs. In this position, McNeil will oversee AHLA’s efforts to maintain and grow AHLA’s strong connections to federal policymakers on behalf of hoteliers across the country. McNeil previously served as AHLA’s senior director of federal affairs, and prior to that was director of battleground fundraising for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, where she oversaw the fundraising and campaign strategy for a wide range of lawmakers and candidates.

The promotions announced today are part of a steadily growing AHLA team that has played an increasingly critical role on behalf of the hotel industry, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last three years, AHLA has nearly doubled in size, growing to nearly 80 employees as the organization continues to serve as the singular voice of America’s hotels and remains deeply engaged in policy issues affecting hoteliers at all levels of government.

“Haleigh and Ashley are consummate government affairs and political professionals and their track record achieving results for our industry is second to none,” said AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers. “We are proud to announce their well-deserved promotions.”

About AHLA

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the largest hotel association in America, representing more than 30,000 members from all segments of the industry nationwide – including iconic global brands, 80% of all franchised hotels, and the 16 largest hotel companies in the U.S. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support, and workforce development programs to move the industry forward. Learn more at

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IHG One Rewards Mobile App: Redefining Travel Through Technology

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Must-have travel app with features for ease and inspiration for all travelers

ATLANTASept. 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The IHG One Rewards mobile app is redefining the travel experience with a greater emphasis on customer satisfaction – and it’s earning rave reviews. The app’s intuitive design and new features seamlessly guide guests through their booking journey from inspiration to customizing their in-room stay experience, all in the palm of their hands. As IHG’s fastest-growing booking channel, the app has driven more than half of all digital bookings in 2023 and is the main platform for loyalty engagement. With the ability to inspire adventure, maximize loyalty earnings, and seamlessly integrate into the in-hotel experience, the app has received high ratings of 4.9 stars on the Apple store and 4.8 stars on the Android store.

“At IHG, we believe that technology can redefine hospitality and our IHG One Rewards mobile app is a testament to that. We knew that by placing our app at the center of delivering choice and control to our guests, we could stand out in the industry,” said Jolie Fleming, Senior Vice President, Guest Products and Platforms at IHG Hotels & Resorts. “With new features rolling out weekly, we continue to offer greater customization and increased guest engagement through this channel. We have seen positive reviews from our most loyal guests who use the app devotedly and can’t travel without it!”

The IHG One Rewards app is packed with new features that set it apart from other hotel apps, including:

  • • New! Travel Wishlists. An in-app exclusive experience, members can now save properties to their Wishlists page to view later – easily allowing them to track future stays or add past stays they enjoyed to their list.
  • • Wi-Fi Auto Connect. When enabled, this feature automatically connects a guest’s mobile device to a property’s Wi-Fi as soon as they walk through the doors. A one-time sign-on is required and takes only two taps to join. More than 1 million users have signed up globally.
  • • Room charges in real-time. Guests at more than 3,000 hotels across the Americas can view their room charges as they happen during their stay. Available on the Reservation Summary page, guests can see in-room charges such as room service and dining charges.
  • • Room details and customization. Guests can now easily see the size of the room booked, so there are no surprises when they show up! Plus, IHG has made it easier for guests to personalize their stays, whether that’s by booking a room with a view of the mountains or selecting one with more space.
  • • Seamless loyalty benefits experience. IHG One Rewards members can conveniently explore their current loyalty tier benefits and discover the exciting rewards they can unlock as they progress to higher tiers, as well as access and redeem Milestone Rewards, including free nights, food and beverage vouchers and complimentary suite upgrades.
  • • Updated Wallet. Google and Apple Wallet users can add their IHG One Rewards membership and reservations to their digital wallet allowing for convenience and ease during travel.
  • • More languages. The re-architected app is available in 20 languages across six global and Greater China-focused app stores.

Jolie Fleming added: “Our app is designed for a new kind of loyalty program and for a new kind of traveler. We designed this app with our customers and are proud to say that it has exceeded expectations. The app’s exceptional adoption rate, positive user feedback, and transformative impact on guest experiences has reinforced IHG’s standing as a global leader in redefining hospitality through technology.”

The IHG One Rewards mobile app also offers members a Best Price Guarantee with no hidden fees; and the ability to track the availability of rooms in their favorite hotels. Plus, guests are able to use guest service support and chat directly with customer care representatives directly in the app. And, for our top tier Diamond Elite members, they get priority access to Dedicated Diamond Support through the app.

The future of the IHG One Rewards mobile app

The mobile app has come out of a transformational year and new updates are always on the horizon. Upcoming features include the launch of Apple AirPlay at IHG Hotels & Resorts and virtual 360° tours of select Hotel Indigo properties globally. Not to mention, guests will soon be able to share Wishlists with friends and family, making the travel booking experience even more engaging and fun.


IHG Hotels & Resorts [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global hospitality company, with a purpose to provide True Hospitality for Good.

With a family of 19 hotel brands and IHG One Rewards, one of the world’s largest hotel loyalty programmes, IHG has over 6,000 open hotels in over 100 countries, and more than 1,900 in the development pipeline.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated and registered in England and Wales. Approximately 345,000 people work across IHG’s hotels and corporate offices globally.

Visit us online for more about our hotels and reservations and IHG One Rewards. To download the new IHG One Rewards app, visit the Apple App or Google Play stores.

SOURCE IHG Hotels & Resorts

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Hotel Indigo debuts largest marketing campaign in brand history, delivering a beautiful perspective of neighborhoods across the world

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Hotel Indigo’s The World’s Neighborhood Hotel celebrates the people, places and experiences that make the neighborhood one-of-a-kind

ATLANTA, Sept. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Hotel Indigo, part of IHG’s Luxury & Lifestyle portfolio, is unearthing the hidden gems that only can be found in a neighborhood and inspiring the next generation of travelers to go out and explore. The brand’s newest international marketing campaign, The World’s Neighborhood Hotel, is rooted in the brand’s long-held belief that when you see the world through the neighborhood, the neighborhood changes your world.

Experience the full interactive Multichannel News Release here:

In a global survey* from Hotel Indigo, the brand reveals 73 percent of respondents feel it is important for the hotel they stay in while traveling to be connected to the local neighborhood as it may inspire more adventurous activities, the desire to try new things, and meet new people. It also unveils the impact immersive travel has on our perspective of the world, with 1 in 2 travelers having questioned their life’s trajectory after coming home from a trip and 63 percent making major life changes due to their experiences on a trip. Hotel Indigo’s The World’s Neighborhood Hotel is a testament to that – because when you stay at a Hotel Indigo, you don’t just visit a place – you fully immerse yourself in it – and then you take a little bit of it home with you.

Officially rolling out this month in a phased approach globally, Hotel Indigo’s The World’s Neighborhood Hotel is designed to celebrate how guests can discover, or rediscover, some of the most inspiring and culturally rich neighborhoods in and outside the hotel.

Just as no two neighborhoods are alike, no two Hotel Indigo properties are alike. From a unique selection of vinyl Shibuya-Kei records in each guestroom at Hotel Indigo Tokyo Shibuya and infused elements reminiscent of Old Hollywood at Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown, to Hotel Indigo Brussels – City only using locally sourced ingredients in its restaurant, and every floor of Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown featuring local artwork, each individual property is inspired by local neighborhood cues designed to ignite curiosity to explore something new.

Carol Hoeller, Vice President Global Brand Management for Hotel Indigo, said: “The neighborhood is where those who are looking to be inspired stay. Which is why Hotel Indigo sits at the heart of neighborhoods across the world. For our guests, Hotel Indigo isn’t just a place to stay – it’s a reason to travel. It’s a destination all on its own, and The World’s Neighborhood Hotel embodies that. The campaign beautifully juxtaposes the inside and outside – and how our brand and the communities in which we exist are inseparable.”

Chloe Banicevic, Creative Director at Anomaly, said: “We wanted this campaign to be a journey of discovery and wonderment. The creative captures the real culture and emotion behind the neighborhoods featured in a soul-stirring way. We wove in iconic sights and sounds as well as people living, connecting, and seeking out incredible things and hidden gems. Because we wanted it to be more than just a homage to the neighborhood, we wanted it to be an invitation to come and experience it for yourself.”

While an international media campaign, Hotel Indigo’s The World’s Neighborhood Hotel evokes local feeling. The images and videos, personalized to the next-gen explorer, will appear online, in television, cinema, digital out-of-home placements, and on brand social channels such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

With survey results also uncovering that 55 percent of travelers have changed their plans because of a recommendation from a local, Hotel Indigo will also be creating custom neighborhood guides through strategic partnerships to further spark that desire to experience an authentically local stay wherever you are in the world.

Hotel Indigo is a brand that exists to illuminate the world within the neighborhood in a distinct and authentic way. Today, there are 145 Hotel Indigo properties open, with another 128 in the pipeline** and the brand is committed to doubling its portfolio globally over the next three to five years.

For more information on Hotel Indigo, visit Or download the IHG One Rewards mobile app, where you can now virtually explore select Hotel Indigo properties and the neighborhoods they are in with a 360° tour.

Note to Editors:

*Survey methodology:

  • • All the figures are from YouGov, an International Internet-based market research and data analytics firm.
  • • Survey was conducted online between July 25 and August 3, 2023, across 6,015 travelers (defined as having traveled in the past 12 months and/or planning to in the next 12 months) aged 25-44 in the US, UK, Australia, Japan, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.

**Numbers as of June 30, 2023.

About Hotel Indigo

Just as no places are alike, no two Hotel Indigo properties are alike. Each Hotel Indigo draws inspiration from the local neighborhood, culture and popular trends in food, drink and design to create a warm and vibrant atmosphere.  Our hotels provide a gateway to discover and explore some of the world’s most inspiring cities and neighborhoods. For more information, visit, and connect with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About IHG Hotels & Resorts

IHG Hotels & Resorts [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global hospitality company, with a purpose to provide True Hospitality for Good.

With a family of 19 hotel brands and IHG One Rewards, one of the world’s largest hotel loyalty programmes, IHG has over 6,000 open hotels in over 100 countries, and more than 1,900 in the development pipeline.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated and registered in England and Wales. Approximately 345,000 people work across IHG’s hotels and corporate offices globally.

Visit us online for more about our hotels and reservations and IHG One Rewards. To download the new IHG One Rewards app, visit the Apple App or Google Play stores.

For our latest news, visit our Newsroom and follow us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

SOURCE IHG Hotels & Resorts

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