- The event
Georges Panayotis, President and Founder of the Worldwide Hospitality Awards
Born into a family of hoteliers, Georges Panayotis left Greece at the age of 18 to study Political Science and earn a management degree at the University of Paris, Dauphine. In 1986 he created his own company and started developing specialised marketing tools for the hotel industry. Over the past 20 years, MKG Conseil, later to become MKG Group, became the leading European consulting firm for the hotel business, food service and tourism industries. The company now has over 90 employees specialised in four core activities: market surveys, quality control, database management and industry press. The Group also founded the Worldwide Hospitality Awards and the Global Lodging Forum, two major annual events. Georges Panayotis has had a number of books published: Constat et Plan Marketing [Marketing Status and Planning], Marketing Opérationnel des Services [Operational Marketing of Services], L'hôtellerie française et son évolution [The Hotel Industry in France and its evolution]. He is also a consultant for several radio and television stations that focus on the economy.
David Kong, President and Chief Executive Officer Best Western International, President of the ceremony 2018
Appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Best Western® Hotels & Resorts in 2004, Mr. Kong served as Executive Vice President, International Operations, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Development, and Senior Vice President, Strategic Services and Operations at Best Western. Mr. Kong has also held senior management positions at Hyatt® Hotels, Omni International and Hilton® Hotels. Kong is a long-time active member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and was its president in 2010, the year of its centenary. Mr. Kong continues to play an active role in the Chief Executive Officer and Government Affairs Council. In 2010, Mr. Kong was appointed to the United States Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board and served for three years
Hervé Novelli, Former Minister and President of the Jury 2018
Holder of a master's degree in economics from the University of Paris-Dauphine, Hervé Novelli quickly became the manager of his own company and became totally involved in politics in 1988. He founded the Euro 92 group, which aims to prepare companies for the opening of the European market. He was the general secretary. He then joined the Republican Party and became deputy for Indre-et-Loire in 1993. Co-founder of the Liberal Democracy movement, elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 1999, he returned to his function as Member of Parliament for Indre-et-Loire in 2002 and was re-elected in 2007. Under the chairmanship of Nicolas Sarkozy, he was Secretary of State for three years, first in charge of business and foreign trade, then of trade, crafts, small and medium-sized enterprises, tourism, services and consumer affairs. In 2014, he created WikiPME, a digital platform for services to SMEs, the first digital community of entrepreneurs in France. Since 2017, he has chaired the Conseil supérieur de l'Œnotourisme.
Luc Chatel, former Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy, Finance and Employment, President of the Jury 2017
Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels, President of the ceremony 2017
Georges Sampeur, President of the Board of B&B Hotels & President of the Advisory Board 2016 of the Worldwide Hospitality Awards
Hugues Parant, Ancien Préfet de la Région PACA, President of the Jury 2016
Wolfgang M. Neumann, P-dg Rezidor Hotel Group & President of the Ceremony 2016
The current President and CEO of Rezidor Hotel Group Wolfgang M. Neumann has collected directorships for over 20 years. He has also been President of Hilton Worldwide and CEO Arabella. As Carlson Hotels joins the fold of the Chinese group HNA, his testimonial to the major restructuring of the hotel industry will be particularly instructive.
Every year, personalities from the hospitality industry preside the advisory board and the ceremony.