Ed Fuller, president and managing director of the international lodging division at Marriott International, will be presented with the 2012 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 15th annual International Hotel Investment Forum, in Berlin, next week.
Given to an individual who, over his or her lifetime, has made a significant difference in the hospitality industry, the award has previously been presented to Lord Forte and Alan Parker, former chief executive of Whitbread.
Fuller, who will retire from Marriott International after 29 years with the company next month, led Marriott's growth outside the United States from 16 hotels to more than 550 hotels today in more than 70 countries.
Stuart Harrison, founder of The Profitable Hotel Company and former sales and marketing director of Scotts Hotels, whose portfolio of 16 Holiday Inn properties were converted to Marriott hotels in 1992, said that Fuller was responsible for changing the face of branded hotels over two decades.
"Ed began that journey with 16 hotels in six countries," explained Harrison. "By the end of his 10 million mile, 20-year mission, he had opened 400 hotels - and had a United Airlines Boeing 747 named after him!"
Fuller believed it was necessary to understand the cultural difference of any new location Marriott moved into.
"Ed's thinking is worth understanding when we are faced with the rigidity of many brands as they seek to open in new markets without sensitivity towards the culture they want to operate in," Harrison added.
By Janet Harmer
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