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CN big interviewWho are your main competitors?we are in the upscale full-service arena so there are all those usual suspects; the Marriott is our largest worldwide competitor followed by the Sheraton. this is driven mostly by their presence in the market and their proximity to our hotels. How do you compete with them? Having the best bed or the largest meeting room will never be enough as someone will always have better or larger. we like to think of our brand as offering a hotel experience that makes a traveller feel human again. For 25 years, we have been offering every guest on arrival a warm chocolate chip cookie, at all our hotels worldwide. More than 230m of these have been shared with our customers.Is the cookie the same recipe worldwide? How is it received in countries such as China?the recipe varies slightly, for example brazilians aren't keen on walnuts, so we modify it there, and we are discussing a cookie suitable for vegans in india. we have focus groups that research this kind of thing. the Chinese love the cookie idea as a warm welcome and a sweet surprise.Do you have a social media strategy, how important is it to the success of the brand?we have an active social media strategy particularly with twitter and Facebook. we use twitter to gain feedback from our guests which is great for checking the temperature of how we are performing. we also use it for marketing our products. it still amazes me there are companies out there that are burying their heads in the sand when it comes to social media, but at their own peril. You have an aggressive growth plan for the future, which areas are of interest for future hotel launches?we plan to continue to expand globally as we look to expand our marketing presence worldwide. we envision a loyal customer set that would choose our brand for meetings no matter what country they are in. Of particular interest to us is the UK and eastern europe. bulgaria, romania, Slovakia, Poland and russia have all been extremely receptive to the brand. CN 22 JUne 2011 CN CONFERENCE-NEWS.CO.UKAll guests are offered a baked cookie on check-inDoubletree milestones1969 First Doubletree Hotel opens in Arizona, USA1986 Doubletree develops the brand's signature cookie to welcome guests at check-in2008 Doubletree debuts in europe, the Caribbean and Asia2009 world's largest Doubletree opens in Orlando international Drive2010 Doubletree announces new global identity at Hilton worldwide global Partnership conference2011 the brand's 250th hotel opens in istanbul 196919862008200920102011

For 25 years, we've believed in warm welcomes. Today, we have a new name and a new look-and this year alone, over 40 more global locations joining our more than 250 hotels worldwide. We've changed some big things, to bring the best amenities to today's traveler. But we haven't changed the little things - the friendly, thoughtful service that begins with the warm cookie that greets every guest. We're DoubleTree by Hilton.DoubleTree.comAMERICAS EUROPE AFRICA ASIA© 2011 HILTON WORLDWIDEWhere the little things mean everything.TM