McLEAN, Va. – Hilton, the world’s first global hotel company, will celebrate its milestone 100th anniversary tomorrow in the midst of the most dynamic year in the company’s storied history.
To mark the occasion, hundreds of hotels around the world are extending Hilton hospitality beyond their doors by taking “Random Acts of Hospitality” to their communities – from Chicago to Shanghai, Dublin to Dubai and everywhere in between.
As it looks ahead to its next century, Hilton also announced today the creation of The Hilton Effect Foundation, which will help create a better world to travel by investing in both organizations and people having a positive impact on the communities Hilton serves. The Foundation is launching this week with 15 grants to organizations that will support communities around the world. These inaugural grants will support programs around the globe that are creating opportunities for youth, aiding in disaster recovery, and supporting water stewardship and sustainability.
The Foundation builds on the impact already driven by Hilton through its Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility strategy, which seeks to double the company’s investment in social impact while cutting Hilton’s environmental footprint in half by 2030. Since the inception of Travel with Purpose in 2011, Hilton’s Team Members have performed more than 1.3 million hours of volunteer service and the company has invested tens of millions of dollars in the communities it serves. As Hilton’s primary international philanthropic arm, the Foundation will channel financial and in-kind resources to further amplify the Hilton Effect – the ongoing positive impact of the world’s first global hospitality company on guests, Team Members and communities.
Celebrating Hilton’s 100th anniversary with hospitality and a global Foundation speaks to the company’s founding vision.
“One hundred years ago, Conrad Hilton had a noble idea that travel can make the world a better place,” said Chris Nassetta, President and CEO of Hilton. “That deep-rooted sense of purpose has fueled our transformative impact all across the globe, as we have welcomed 3 billion guests, employed 10 million Team Members and contributed $1 trillion in economic impact. And in the years to come, we will do even more to positively change the world through our Hilton Effect Foundation.”
Past and Present
Founded in 1919 in the tiny town of Cisco, Texas, Hilton has pioneered the travel industry for decades, introducing room service, air-conditioned lobbies, in-room televisions, airport hotels, the mini-bar, the computerized reservation system, and Connected Room – the first hotel room allowing guests to unlock their doors and control their lights, thermostat and TV with a smartphone app. Hilton properties even invented the brownie and the piña colada.
Hilton now offers 17 distinctive brands across 113 countries and territories, with more than 5,700 properties and continues to grow with a new hotel opening somewhere in the world every day.
In addition to the Foundation, the hospitality giant has also launched a grassroots service initiative called “Random Acts of Hospitality.” Team Members throughout Hilton locations around the world are conducting meaningful, simple gestures for others that extend Hilton’s hospitality beyond the doors of its hotels and into local communities.
Some of these gestures include:
- Team Members from the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. surprised nonprofit organization DC Central Kitchen’s culinary students with new knife sets and food scales.
- In Houston, Team Members from Hilton Americas-Houston treated volunteers from disaster relief organization Team Rubicon during their work rebuilding homes in Houston damaged by Hurricane Harvey. The Hilton team transformed the volunteers’ meal site into an elegant, white linen dinner.
- Hilton Shanghai Hongqiao and Hilton Sanya Yalong Bay Resort & Spa in China delighted local taxi drivers, treating them to a car wash, refreshments and delicious treats when they stopped by the hotels.
- During Ramadan, Hilton Garden Inn Mall of the Emirates in Dubai invited taxi drivers to stop by the hotel and receive complimentary meal boxes to break their fast at Iftar time.
- In Argentina, Hilton Buenos Aires delivered breakfast in their community to brighten the morning for locals, including to the Navy Police that are responsible for security in Puerto Madero.
With one of the industry’s fastest-growing pipelines, Hilton plans to expand to nearly 20 additional countries by 2020. There are already more than 2,400 hotels in Hilton’s construction pipeline, and approximately one of every five hotel rooms under construction around the world is a Hilton.
The company’s legacy of driving innovations that change the hospitality industry continues in 2019 and beyond with the ongoing expansion of the first mobile-centric Connected Room.
Meanwhile, Hilton continues its commitment to Travel with Purpose. Hilton is the first major hotel chain to institute science-based targets for carbon reduction as part of its ambitious 2030 goals, which are aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. Hilton was also the first hotel company to partner with Clean the World to recycle soap, and has sent nearly 10 million bars of soap to communities in need all over the globe as part of its commitment to send zero soap to landfill. These efforts and more led to Hilton being named to the 2018 Fortune “Change the World” list as well as Forbes and JUST Capital’s list for “America's Most JUST Companies.”
From the beginning, the source of Hilton’s innovation, purpose and growth has been its Team Members. Hilton has been recognized for its exceptional workplace culture and is the first hospitality company in history to achieve the #1 ranking on the Fortune Best Companies to Work For® in the U.S. list. Additionally, in 2018, Hilton was ranked as the #1 best workplace for both diversity and parents and #2 on the World’s Best Workplaces list, recognized by Great Place to Work®.
“Our first century of hospitality has been tremendously meaningful, but I truly believe that now is our time,” Nassetta said. “Hilton is as strong as it has ever been, and our potential to positively change the world grows with each hotel we open and every guest we serve.
“Our 100th year of hospitality is an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come and put a stake in the ground for our future. Conrad Hilton charted an ambitious course for Hilton in 1919, and I think he’d be proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. In my view, the world’s a better place because Hilton was born one hundred years ago, and if we do our job right, the world will be a better place because Hilton’s in it for the next one hundred years.”
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Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 18 world-class brands comprising nearly 6,900 properties and nearly 1.1 million rooms, in 122 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, earned a top spot on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list and been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for five consecutive years. Hilton has introduced several industry-leading technology enhancements to improve the guest experience, including Digital Key Share, automated complimentary room upgrades and the ability to book confirmed connecting rooms. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the nearly 133 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can't buy. With the free Hilton Honors app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit stories.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.