Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Meledo

Caroline Meledo

Director Corporate Responsibility & Human Rights, Hilton

Caroline Meledo drives Hilton's 2030 Travel with Purpose Goals to redefine sustainable travel. She is responsible for strategy and partnerships across destination stewardship, local sourcing, cool food and inclusive growth across Hilton's portfolio of 5,700 hotels in 113 countries.

Ms. Meledo established Hilton's corporate responsibility function for Hilton's Europe, Middle East and Africa region when she joined the company in 2013 at their London offices. She developed the regional strategy, established the governance and led team member and leadership engagement across the region's 57 countries. She had a particular focus on innovative partnerships for refugee engagement, soap recycling, and sustainable food.

Ms. Meledo is also Hilton's global lead on human rights including strategy development, embedding human rights due diligence across operations, supply chain and communities, leading industry collaboration and establishing cross- sector partnerships.

Previously, Ms. Meledo was part of the Corporate Responsibility team at Sodexo UK & Ireland, driving the sustainable food agenda and innovative partnerships across public and private client segments covering over 35,000 employees. In 2009, Ms. Meledo was part of the team of the UN Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, providing gender expertise to the development of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Ms. Meledo earned her Masters of Arts degree in International Relations, International Economics and International Law from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. She also has a double Diploma in Political Science from the Institut d'Etudes Politique in Lille, France (Sciences Po), and the Westfaelische Universitaet Muenster, Germany.

Please visit http://www.hilton.com for more information.

Ms. Meledo can be contacted at +1 703-847-5000 or caroline.meledo@hilton.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.