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A look at Hilton’s past, present and future with Asia-Pacific President Alan Watts

by | Jul 19, 2019 | Chains

Hilton celebrates 100 years and is already planning its second century

As Hilton celebrates its 100-year anniversary, the company is looking to make the next 100 years another success, says Hilton’s Asia-Pacific President Alan Watts

This year marks Hilton’s 100th birthday as a hotel company. To celebrate, the company and its leaders have spent much time looking both ahead and back.

Hilton started out 100 years ago as a pure hotel company. Fast forward to today, and it is comprised of more than 5,600 hotels and 400,000 employees.

To date, Hilton has also served more than three billion guests in properties throughout the world. To commemorate this momentous occasion, Asia-Pacific president of Hilton Alan Watts recently gave an interview with Fortune India, in which he discussed the company’s past and future.

100 years of Hilton

With 100 years in the hospitality business, Hilton has been responsible for many firsts. It has also experienced its share of milestones.

It may sound a bit quaint now with new technologies erupting all throughout the hospitality industry, but Hilton was the first hotel company to put a television set in a hotel room.

And the innovation didn’t stop there. Hilton also introduced air conditioning, minibars and even room service to the industry.

That’s all well and good, but perhaps the single biggest contribution it made to hotel bars in sunny locales the world over is the invention of the piña colada, which happened at the Caribe Hilton.

If sweets are more your thing, know that Hilton was responsible for the creation of the first red velvet cake, which was baked at the Waldorf Astoria.

Meanwhile, other milestones include opening hotels in most countries across the world and being the first to combine a loyalty program with a point slider, and more.

Hilton moving forward

The question then: what do the next 100 years hold for Hilton?

Company leadership says it would like to fill more key city gaps, satisfying unfulfilled demand in cities in booming countries such as India.

“That’s what I would like to see,” Watts said, “a signature Hilton, a second one in Mumbai, and a Hilton in Delhi. I think there is an opportunity to deploy our most luxurious brand. There is an opportunity to deploy a Waldorf Astoria in the market. I would like to see the Conrad brand following on from Bengaluru and Pune in the major markets. We are also looking at existing sites that are stuck in arbitration, that are 80-90% done.”

Let’s look at a few more hotel projects by Hilton in the Asia Pacific region:

Hilton Lanzhou

Hilton Yinshan Lake Suzhou

Hilton Saigon




Hilton is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 17 world-class brands comprising more than 5,700 properties with more than 923,000 rooms, in 113 countries and territories.


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