MCLEAN, Virginia. - During a year filled with uncertainty, the mid-scale Hilton Garden Inn chain continued to expand in 2020, opening 43 new hotels with nearly 6,500 rooms, taking the worldwide tally of hotels under the brand to nearly 900 in forty-nine countries.
Openings in Camden, New Jersey; Flint, Michigan; and the Faroe Islands, the chain says, brought opportunities to revitalize communities and pioneer new travel markets during one of the most challenging years in history.
Hilton, a pioneer of the hospitality industry, has 18 brands and one million rooms in its portfolio.
Extending the Garden Inn brand into emerging markets can sometimes have a positive impact on the community.
A Hilton Garden Inn opened on the waterfront in Camden, New Jersey in December, the first hotel to open in the South Jersey city in more than fifty years.
A month earlier, in November, the group opened a hotel in Flint Downtown, Michigan. The hotel, according to Hilton, has increased spending and tourism to the area and brings 60 locally hired jobs to the city of Flint. The more than 148,000-square-foot property resides in a historic 100-year-old building, vacant for decades until this restoration; the former 1920s-era bank features Italian Renaissance Revival architectural style with Art Deco elements.
A month before, in October, the Faroe Islands got a Hilton Garden Inn, the first international hotel on the archipelago, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. The property, Hilton says, was built with sustainability at its core, helping to grow the island's own sustainable, responsible tourism industry.
"During a time when we are all looking for the silver linings, I'm proud that Hilton Garden Inn has continued to expand its impact despite the headwinds the hospitality industry faced in 2020," Alan Roberts, global head, Hilton Garden Inn said. "We strive for each hotel we open to have a positive effect on its community."
To further emphasize the group's commitment to jump-start impact in local communities, the Hilton Effect Foundation says it will be issuing grants to three local nonprofit organizations: Cathedral Kitchen (Camden, N.J.), the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan (Flint, Mich.) and Trsbyrgi (Faroe Islands).
"Each of these Hilton Garden Inn hotels will make the communities they serve stronger than before they opened by creating opportunities for employment, attracting more guests to these areas, and investing time and energy to directly support those around them. These actions ultimately align with the Foundation's goal of creating a better world to travel," Kate Mikesell, vice president, corporate responsibility, Hilton and president, Hilton Effect Foundation said. "The Foundation worked with each of these local hotel teams to identify initial investments we can make to jump-start Hilton Garden Inn's impact in these communitiescreating job skills training opportunities through Cathedral Kitchen in Camden, addressing food insecurity and waste with the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in Flint, and increasing locally produced and sourced food with Trsbyrgi in the Faroe Islands."