Overall ranking: 12 (ranked 15 in 2010)
Hotel ranking: 3 (ranked 4 in 2010)
Simon Vincent - Snapshot
Simon Vincent is area president Europe for Hilton Worldwide, responsible for more than 200 hotels across seven brands with 25,000 employees in 30 European countries.
Simon Vincent - Career guide
A 20-year veteran of the leisure and travel industry, Vincent was previously chief executive of Opodo, the online travel agency. He also spent 13 years at the Thomas Cook Group, latterly as chief operating officer and managing director of tour operating and retail distribution.
Vincent has extensive international experience, having held a number of pan-European roles and worked in North America and Japan. He spent the early part of his career in international banking with HSBC. He held the role of president of UK and Ireland division at Hilton before a global restructure saw him take on his current European-wide role.
Simon Vincent - What we think
Vincent is responsible for driving Hilton's aggressive expansion policy throughout Europe.
Last year saw 22 hotels (3,366 rooms) open in Europe, with a further eight in 2011, while management or franchise agreements on 47 hotels were signed covering more than 7,900 rooms.
Within the UK, 2010 saw five Hampton by Hilton properties open and as well as one Hilton Garden Inn, while so far in 2011 the group has opened two properties; a DoubleTree in London's West End and a new flagship Waldorf Astoria. The luxury hotel was opened in Syon Park's West London in April, the result of a partnership with owners Ability Group and marks a growing strategy for the group.
Fifty hotels were opened in the region over the past three years and Hilton's European growth is expected to continue, with more than 90 properties and 15,000 rooms currently under development. Brands in the pipeline cover the whole spectrum from Waldorf Astorias in Seville, Spain, and Berlin, Germany, to the group's economy brand Hampton by Hilton.
In the region Vincent has overseen the debut of four new Hilton Worldwide brands. In summer 2008 he introduced the UK's first Hilton Garden Inn, in Luton, and was also responsible for spearheading the launch of Doubletree by Hilton across Europe. In March 2009 Vincent opened Europe's first Hampton by Hilton hotel, in Corby, Northamptonshire.
The group currently operates 205 hotels across 30 countries in Europe. Key hotels due to open within the next 12 months include Conrad Algarve in Portugal, Hilton Baku in Azerbaijan, Hampton by Hilton Bursa, Turkey and Doubletree by Hilton Oradea, Romania. A third Waldorf Astoria is to be launched in the UK with the conversion of the Caledonian Hilton Edinburgh.
Research from STR Global earlier this year found Hilton Worldwide has the largest number of rooms in development, with 15,411 rooms in the active pipeline and 8,643 rooms under construction (12.4% and 14% of the industry totals, respectively).