2023 Forbes Travel Guide Summit in Las Vegas
Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you’re ready for the ride of a lifetime because the 2023 Forbes Travel Guide Summit, held at Resorts World Las Vegas, was an absolute blast!
From the glitz and glamor of the Gala (hosted by none other than the exemplary Neil Patrick Harris) to the inspiring keynote speeches and engaging discovery sessions, this event was truly one for the books.
Let’s start with the opening night party, which took place in the stunning Rose Ballroom at Resorts World Las Vegas.
If the glitz and glamor of the venue weren’t enough, the attendees had access to a luxurious food bar loaded with fancy caviar, sushi (all sorts of seafood in general), and beef, with stations offering various delicacies. And the LA Allstars band kept the dance floor packed with all the latest pop hits. The event kicked off on the perfect high!
But the real star of the show was the Summit itself. Business executives, travel consultants, and other luxury travel industry experts from more than 80 nations and five continents gathered to celebrate the best in luxury hospitality.
The keynote speakers were among the best in the field, sharing their knowledge and perceptions on various topics, including luxury travel, sustainability, technology, and more.
Chris Burch, who, as the owner of Burch Creative Capital, has a hand in operating the Faena Hotel in Buenos Aires, attended the event and met with Peter Greenberg, the top editor of CBS News, to talk about the newest travel trends.
Elizabeth Blau, the current Global Ambassador for Food & Beverages for FTG, also spoke about how hotel restaurants can stand out in the vibrant dining scene of today, noting that over 50 new hotel restaurants will open in Las Vegas over the next year and a half. That’s quite the boom in business!
The celebrities weren’t the only ones that stole the show. The smaller discovery sessions, which covered everything from the evolution of spas to how ChatGPT and AI may improve travel, were a blast to attend.
The Summit’s focus wasn’t solely on work. With everything from spa treatments to networking happy hours, attendees had plenty of chances to unwind and relax. It was a business retreat to remember.
And let’s not forget the closing gala, which was presented by Anthony Veneziale, who co-founded the renowned improv hip-hop and comedy group Freestyle Love Supreme with Lin-Manuel Miranda. With his clever one-liners and superb rapping abilities, Veneziale had the audience in stitches.
And the Vegas dancers who joined him on stage put on an enthralling spectacle that was impossible to look away from.
Of course, the Summit knew to give its attendees the information they sought. The speakers and attendees took their roles as leaders in the luxury hospitality industry very seriously, discussing critical topics like sustainability, company culture, and investing in leisure assets.
The current president of CBRE Hotels Institutional Group, Robert Webster also attended and talked about leisure hospitality investment.
The current dean of the Boston University School of Public Health, Dr. Sandro Galea, gave a truly inspirational keynote on how the combination of health and hospitality will decisively shape the future and have an unbelievable impact on health sectors across the globe.
Meanwhile, Delta’s chief health officer, Dr. Henry Ting, emphasized the importance of focusing on the well-being of employees. He highlighted how taking care of employees leads to better care for customers and shared Delta’s assistance in providing fertility coverage, surrogacy, adoption, and even maternal leave for parents as an example people can look up to.
It wasn’t just the keynotes that left an impression on attendees. The discovery sessions also covered a wide range of topics, including “Sustainability and Luxury Can Be Friends” led by FTG’s Global Ambassador of Responsible Hospitality, Hervé Houdré, which was very expansive.
He emphasized three things only: people, planet, and profit, and claimed that sustainability can help hotels significantly. He gave attendees a peek under the hood into FTG’s soon-to-launch Responsible Hospitality, a self-verification tool that sets a global standard for the world’s finest hotels and provides a legitimate third-party verifier for both trip advisors and guests around the globe.
Another highlight of the Summit was the Forbes Travel Guide Awards of Excellence. Celebrity Cruises president and chief executive officer, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, was presented with a Baccarat award that honors people who have significantly improved the economic situation of the hospitality sector. Lutoff-Perlo was honored for her steadfast dedication to workplace diversity and her ongoing initiative to diversify Celebrity’s male-dominated bridge team.
Francis X. Suarez, the Mayor of Miami, was also awarded FTG’s first Resilience in Tourism, complimenting a destination that has shown great resilience against various factors, such as economic and safety challenges. He emphasized the critical role of the hospitality industry in promoting resilience and recovery.
Overall, the 2023 Forbes Travel Guide Summit was a celebration of the best in luxury hospitality and a chance for industry leaders to come together, learn from each other, and unwind for a while.
The energy and enthusiasm were palpable, and attendees left feeling inspired and motivated to continue pushing the boundaries of luxury travel. We can’t wait to see what the next Forbes Travel Guide Summit has in store!