Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Khan

Shujaat Khan

Chief Concierge, The Capital Hilton

Then UICH Director of the Americas and a past President of Les Clefs d'Or USA, Shujaat Khan's hospitality career spans three decades. His career began at the Watergate Hotel as a Guest Service Agent. He was quickly promoted to Reservations Manager, Sales and Meetings Coordinator, Front Office Manager and Head Concierge. Currently, he is the Chief Concierge at the Capital Hilton Hotel, in Washington DC. Mr. Khan's dedication to hospitality excellence is demonstrated by his deep commitment to fostering growth and professionalism among Concierges. For over a decade, he has served on the Board of Directors for Les Clefs d'Or, USA. He was instrumental in developing a training program for Caribbean hospitality professionals. In 2006, Mr. Khan conducted "The Art of the Concierge," training classes in Antigua, Anguilla, St. Maarten and St. Barth. This year he is scheduled to conduct classes in DC, Miami and a few other US Cities. A recipient of multiple professional awards, Shujaat was named the "Hospitality Star of the Year 2006,"from the Hotel Association of the District of Columbia. Additionally, he has received multiple Spirit of Pride awards from the Hilton Hotel Corporation, and was named the Concierge of the Year. Shujaat had a cameo appearance with Clint Eastwood in the movie "Absolute Power," filmed at The Watergate Hotel. Recently, he performed a short role in "Sheer Madness," at the Kennedy Center. Mr. Khan has initiated many philanthropic endeavors to assist local, national and international charities. His selfless fundraising efforts have raised thousands of dollars to provide assistance to victims of international disasters and Concierges in need, through the Les Clefs d'Or Foundation and the Les Clefs d'Or Relief Fund. Married to Mrs. Linda Khan for 25 years, they are blessed to have two handsome sons. Sameer, the eldest son, is a proud Marine and attends college part time. The younger son, Salim, is graduating from WT Woodson this year, and will be attending the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events at The George Mason University.

Mr. Khan can be contacted at 202-639-5712 or Shujaat.Khan@hilton.com

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.