IHG Appoints Brian McGuinness as Senior Vice President of Global Guest Experience

United Kingdom, Denham. December 04, 2018

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group®), one of the world's leading hotel companies, welcomes hospitality veteran Brian McGuinness as Senior Vice President of Global Guest Experience Shared Services. McGuinness joins IHG charged with creating and delivering global guest experience solutions across the company's portfolio of leading brands. The appointment reflects IHG's ongoing commitment to provide a differentiated and meaningful experience for each and every guest at the more than 5,400 hotels operating under the company's 15 brands. With more than 20 years of hospitality experience, McGuinness most recently served as Global Brand Leader and Senior Vice President for Marriott, Sheraton and Delta Hotels, where he was responsible for brand strategy, marketing, design and guest experience. Brian spent 19 years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts where he led the launch of Aloft and Element hotels and the efforts to bring innovation and lifestyle to the select service category. Reporting to Claire Bennett, Chief Marketing Officer, McGuinness is based at IHG's Americas headquarters in Atlanta.

Claire Bennett, Chief Marketing Officer, commented: “Brian's industry experience is unparalleled. He is renowned for challenging the norm and creating experiences for guests that set trends, and challenge expectations. With Brian at the helm of our new Global Guest Experience team we have the dedicated focus needed to continue evolving how we design, develop and - most importantly - deliver the experiences that set our IHG brands apart. With his extensive background in brand strategy, marketing and design, as well as guest experience, Brian is perfectly positioned to lead this charge for IHG.”

McGuinness added: “I've loved every minute of my career in this industry, because I've led teams with exciting challenges and the freedom to think big, so moving to IHG was the perfect next step for me to take. It's an exciting time for our portfolio and as a team we're ready to build off the fantastic legacy of our brands, the creative thinking of programs in flight, and the opportunities that are ahead of us.”

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.