Forbes Travel Guide—the originator of the Five-Star hospitality rating system and formerly Mobil Travel Guide—announced that Gerard J. Inzerillo, will become Chief Executive Officer effective May 12, 2014, and will lead the brand and 56-year old star rating system as it enters as many as ten new international markets in the coming months.
Inzerillo is a lifestyle visionary with more than four decades at the helm of some of the world’s leading hospitality companies, including Kerzner International Resorts, where he significantly influenced the development of the One & Only brand and Atlantis Resorts; Ian Schrager Hotels, where he conceptualized and launched such legendary hotels as Morgans, the Delano and Royalton; Sun City Resort, where he coordinated major aspects of the 1994 inauguration of President Nelson Mandela; Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts; and Hilton Hotels & Resorts. Most recently, he was President and CEO of IMG Artists, the leading artists’ management, lifestyle and festival company.
“Forbes Travel Guide is poised for rapid growth and scale as it continues to set the global standard for luxury hospitality – and there is no better person to lead that effort than Jerry, a visionary with a proven track record of building successful luxury brands and creating innovative new market opportunities,” said Jeff Arnold, Chairman of Forbes Travel Guide. “Jerry’s extensive experience as a global operator makes him exceptionally well-suited to lead the Five-Star rating system’s continued expansion and to develop new ways to bring the world’s finest experiences and best insights to our members.”
Jerry Inzerillo said, “I’m thrilled and honored to join the company at this exciting and dynamic moment in the company’s growth. As someone who created and ran luxury hotels, I know first-hand how important the Five-Star rating is to both the hotel and to the traveler’s expectations. I am excited to work with the team to accelerate introducing new services to the industry and firmly secure the leadership position in the luxury travel market by leveraging the unique and special heritage of Forbes Travel Guide.”
The international expansion will bring the official star ratings into new markets including Paris, Tokyo, Rome, Mexico and the Caribbean. This comes on top of the more than 150 markets in which the company currently rates hotels, restaurants and spas in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau.
“The global leisure and unmanaged business market for travel bookings at hotels is worth more than $340 billion,” said Forbes Media President and CEO, Mike Perlis. “Maximizing the power of the Forbes brand to leverage the fastest-growing segments online and in mobile is a tremendous opportunity for us. We reach 28 million qualified consumers per month on Forbes.com worldwide, and we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to expand our partnership with someone of Jerry's extraordinary experience and reputation, as well as the team at Forbes Travel Guide.”
Forbes Travel Guide also announced the addition of several world-class executives to its board of directors. Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, brings over 40 years of executive hospitality leadership experience and led the creation of the nation’s first-ever communications and promotion program, known as Brand USA, to increase travel to the United States. Kirk Posmantur, Axcess Worldwide’s Chairman and CEO, has over 25 years in the hospitality and luxury/lifestyle industries, and is widely recognized as the pioneer of the emerging field of partnership development, where he has conceived and executed scores of partnerships with many of the world’s most iconic brands. Philip Mengel brings a wealth of market and operating knowledge as the former Orient-Express Hotels director and Interim CEO, and former director of The Economist Group, Ltd. These executives will work closely with Jerry and the Forbes Travel Guide executive team, including Michael Cascone who will remain as President and Chief Operating Officer.
“We believe the addition of Jerry and the new Board members to the current team will enable Forbes Travel Guide to be a global leader in the luxury hospitality market, continuing to ensure we all deliver the highest quality service in this dynamic and transformative time,” said Raymond Bickson, Managing Director and CEO of the Taj Group. “The global travel market is more transparent today than any time in its history, and Forbes Travel Guide has embraced this transparency. With Jerry at the helm, the company will undoubtedly take it to the next level in delivering innovative products and services for upscale and luxury suppliers and travelers around the world.”
About Forbes Travel Guide
Forbes Travel Guide, formerly Mobil Travel Guide, is the originator of the prestigious Five-Star Rating system, and has provided the travel industry’s most comprehensive ratings and reviews of hotels, restaurants and spas since 1958. Forbes Travel Guide has a team of expert inspectors who anonymously evaluate properties against up to 800 rigorous and objective standards, providing consumers the insight to make better-informed travel and leisure decisions. Forbes Travel Guide is the gold standard for luxury hospitality ratings worldwide. For more information about Forbes Travel Guide, visit www.forbestravelguide.com.
ForbesTravelGuide.com combines the objectivity and heritage of the Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating system with insightful recommendations from a hand-selected group of travel experts, tastemakers and Forbes Travel Guide inspectors. ForbesTravelGuide.com is the exclusive online destination for Forbes Travel Guide’s list of Star Rated hotels, restaurants and spas, and gives its registered members exclusive access to special offers and curated experiences from select Forbes Travel Guide partners.