The Face of Travel

June 17, 2009

CIMG1542 Back in March, the U.S. Travel Association launched a contest to find the face of the travel industry.  They were looking for someone who embodied the character and hard working spirit of our industry.  I'm proud to announce that this extremely prestigious honor went to one of our Ritz-Carlton associates, Paco Saldana.

Paco grew up in Mexico and came to the United States 13 years ago and has become an American citizen.  After arriving in the U.S.A., he got a job at our Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island in Florida, where he worked his way up to become a Guest Services Manager.

His wife also worked at the hotel, which has been very hard hit by the recent cutbacks in travel due to the struggling economy and the toxic rhetoric coming out of Washington, D.C.  Unfortunately, she was one of the people whose positions were eliminated as occupancy dropped off severely due to the downturn.  So, Paco knows firsthand the challenges the travel industry faces in rebounding from this recession.

During his visit to Washington, he will be meeting with members of Congress, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the media to discuss the important role travel plays in helping us boost the global economy and emerge from this terrific downturn.

I am thrilled for Paco and congratulate him on this tremendous accomplishment.  He is the perfect cheerleader to get people and businesses traveling and meeting again, and that's the reason I'm proud to be a part of this great industry.

I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

The Face of Travel


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Congratulations on having one of your team members receive the award, and congratulations to Paco.
The travel industry is experiencing turbulent times as travel is usually the first to get cut or decreased, but I'm confident the industry will rebound in due time.

It is heartwarming and inspiring to hear how hard work and determination led to Paco's success. I love the stories. Keep 'em comming!

Dear Mr. Marriott,
With everyone's patience and prayers things will be on track again. When the US economy caught the flu Jordan's hotel industry released a couple of sneezes. Most of the chain hotels aren't recruiting like they used to. A couple of days back I talked with the room's division manager of a hotel that I was applying for in Amman and she stated that when they are forced to discharge an employee they aren't allowed to recruit any replacements, at least not for now. In addition to this the swine flue pandemic with the government enforced quarantines on the struck areas made traveling very stressful this season. Against our expectancy and wishes, the first half of 2009 was truly a catastrophic one and brought major disaster on our globe. However there still remains another six months that we are truly praying would bring more stability and peace to our global community. We should never loose hope of a brighter tomorrow, or else what will give us the fuel to work on solving the problems in our present? It's just hope of a brighter future.