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 TripCommon was born out of cofounders Gillian and Timo de Winter’s years of struggling with outdated, buggy travel search and booking tools.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.
Ginny Morrison of Evanston, Illinois, is a 33-year veteran of Spire Hospitality, a hotel management company with a portfolio that spans coast-to-coast. As vice president of sales and marketing, Morrison saw the coronavirus pandemic decimate the meetings business. More than a year later, she’s witnessing a comeback as small-meeting planners are actively booking events for the last half of 2021 and beyond. As public health agencies expand COVID-19 vaccination programs across the U.S. and states ease up on public-gathering restrictions designed to keep the virus at bay, the hotel industry is seeing small meetings begin a comeback. In Episode 317, Long Live Lodging covers the state of the small-meetings sector and how hotels can grab their share of the meetings business during and post-pandemic. This report is part of our ongoing coverage about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the hospitality industry.
The Hunter Hotel Investment Conference will be the industry’s first large event to be held during the coronavirus pandemic. The Atlanta event will be a hybrid format of in-person and virtual access, also an industry first. Lee Hunter, chairman of the conference, knows the level of expectation is high among other conference planners as well as industry professionals eager to network after more than a yearlong hiatus. Episode 316 of Lodging Leaders podcast features Hunter as he tells what it takes to re-launch the industry’s conference circuit amid the COVID-19 outbreak.