Gillian Morris is the co-founder and CEO of TripCommon and Hitlist, building technology to bring online travel search and booking into the 21st century. TripCommon was born out of cofounders Gillian and Timo de Winter’s years of struggling with outdated, buggy travel search and booking tools. The company’s first product, Hitlist, helps users travel more by leveraging data in their social graph to present them with relevant destinations and deals. The app’s intelligent filters help users to find trips that suit their time, destination preferences and budget.
With over 350,000 users in 83 countries (as of 8/18/2015), Hitlist is disrupting the status quo for the travel industry. In July, Craig of Craigslist named TripCommon and Hitlist two of the 4 Women-led Startups Disrupting Travel.
Before entering the start-up world, Gillian worked as a consultant, journalist, and educator in Turkey, China, the Gulf states, and Syria. She is currently based in New York and Boston, where she leads a series of Travel Tech Talks. She earned her BA from Harvard and was the first entrepreneur in residence at TechStars Boston.
Gillian’s work in emerging markets has made her a passionate advocate for entrepreneurship and private sector investment in the developing world. She is a proud mentor with the School of Leadership Afghanistan.
Two viruses emerged in the U.S. this year – COVID-19 and society’s backlash against racism. The coronavirus pandemic forced hotels to close or drastically cut back on their workforces as occupancy plummeted to unprecedented lows. And America’s streets resounded with the voices of citizens protesting racism as businesses began to respond by promising new and better commitments toward diversity, inclusion and equality in hiring and promotion. In Episode 288 of Lodging Leaders podcast, we explore the issues hotels are facing in bringing back laid-off workers and recruiting new employees in the midst of a health pandemic that seems to have no end and society’s desperate call for Corporate America to get serious about ending systemic racism.
Extended-stay hotels are weathering the coronavirus crisis better than their transient cousins, according to reports. The Highland Group’s half-year report shows economy and mid-priced extended-stay hotels are faring better than upscale extended-stay accommodations. Second-quarter earnings reports from companies such as Extended Stay America prove the resiliency of the sector, especially when sales teams shift their focus to new prospects such as college students, leisure travelers who value the kitchen and essential workers in it for the long haul. Long Live Lodging examines what gives extended-stay its muscle in a weak economy. This report is part of our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hotel industry.