Sam Schwartz, First Hospitality Group

Sam Schwartz
Sam Schwartz, development director, First Hospitality Group, Rosemont, Ill.

As First Hospitality Group’s development director, Schwartz acts as a project manager and owner’s representative across the company’s eight active development projects. “I work closely with our project executives to ensure the various components of our projects are moving forward. On any given day, I might jump from helping to structure a lease agreement, to coordinating with our operations team, to reviewing an interior design submittal, to approving an equipment purchase, to updating budgets and schedules.”

What is the biggest concern or threat facing the success of the global hotel industry, and how would you propose addressing it?

One of the biggest threats to the global hotel industry is the current geopolitical trend of isolationism. Over the past several years, an increasing number of international governments have adopted a closed-off worldview, which has obvious ramifications for the tourism industry. In addition, isolationist diplomacy is often confrontational and creates an atmosphere of distrust that further discourages travel. While this problem is much bigger than the hospitality industry and there is no simple solution, we are uniquely positioned to advocate for a more connected world. This is true at both the micro and macro level. We can create hotel experiences that are welcoming to foreign travelers yet leave them with an appreciation for the distinct local culture; and with industry lobbying we can help lawmakers understand the full cost of isolationist policies. 

Sam Schwartz, First Hospitality Group

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