In one fell swoop, we have shrunken the Earth

My magic carpet around the world

As I upload my last files to the shared folders and put my Holiday Inn green mug in my backpack – the modern equivalent of the cardboard box ritual of yore – I take a last look at my desk.

On it, postcards from far-flung colleagues and guests and trinkets from many a business trip cohabit with blueprints, renders, media plans and beloved paraphernalia. A poster from my favourite PanAm campaign, Around the World with Norman Rockwell (poster below, videos here), brings me back to my first interview, where we spoke of social media – already – and the heritage of the InterContinental brand – still.

Little did I know at the time that IHG would become my own magic carpet for the next 6 years.

162,000 emails sent by incredible people

After 6 years and a fantastic journey, I am leaving InterContinental
Hotels Group in June 2018. I was trusted with 5 different
jobs, which brought me to 57 cities in 19 countries, flying over 120,000 miles around Europe, while sending/receiving a staggering 162,400+ emails.

More importantly though, I was lucky enough to meet and work with some of the smartest, most passionate hoteliers, marketeers and travellers in the world. I got to grow thanks to a number of truly inspired mentors, leaders, colleagues, guests and partners. There are few occasions in which I struggle to find words, yet expressing my gratitude to my colleagues would be one of them. Thus, I shall keep it simple.

Ladies and gentlemen, you know who you are. Thank you so very much for the privilege of working at your side. And see you very soon!

Keep travelling

In such times as ours, when the resurgence of popular movements and nationalism tend to obscure the naturally optimistic outlook of travellers, it’s crucial to keep in mind how much travel has helped, and continues to help, to bring the world closer together.

Travelling, even next door, even by foot, is one of the best tools we have to nourish understanding and tolerance.

In the words of Juan Trippe, talking at the time of the advent of jet-powered air travel:

can it fail to smash and shatter the petty provincialism and narrow
nationalism … making of this world a tragic mosaic of hostility and
hate? How can this fabulous new force […] fail to serve the hope
of the world and the peace of the world? […] In one feel swoop, we have shrunken the Earth.”

Juan Trippe, Founder of Pan American Airlines & InterContinental Hotels, talking about travel