Vanguard 2017: Jonathan Tisch, CEO of Loews Hotels

The successful hotelier finds multiple ways to support local communities and the people who work in the travel industry.

Vanguard 2017: Jonathan Tisch, CEO of Loews Hotels

Photo by Frank Kohntopp

Perhaps it’s Jonathan Tisch’s lifelong involvement in hospitality that has made him such a champion of it. The CEO and chairman of Loews Hotels & Co. grew up in the Loews Regency in New York City, doing odd jobs alongside the staff. Those days in his family’s hotel showed him the power of travel to make the world—and the economy—better. It creates jobs, and, perhaps more important, makes even more destinations worth visiting.

“One of the trends I love in this country is the amount of good food you can now find in any city in America,” Tisch says. “Chefs train in L.A. or New York, but then they open their own amazing restaurants back home. This helps the tourism infrastructure to mature, which creates more jobs and opportunities for people. The travel and tourism industry is the largest employer in the world, and in our country alone, there are close to 15 million direct and indirect jobs in travel and tourism.”


Courtesy of Loews Hotels & Co

Tisch has made plenty of direct impact on the industry through Loews, which now runs 24 hotels across the country. The recently renovated Loews Miami Beach opened nearly two decades ago and helped spark the development of now-burgeoning South Beach. Forthcoming Loews projects, including a new hotel in Arlington, Texas, and a new convention center and hotel in Kansas City, should make a similar impact on their destinations.

But his indirect impact has been even more profound. In 2016, New York University honored his years of support by putting his name on the Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, a key incubator for future leaders in the field. He has served as the head of the U.S. Travel Association, a nonprofit group that supports the growth of the U.S. travel industry, and has met with many members of Congress to help them understand how many people’s livelihoods depend on travel. “It all comes back to the humanity of travel,” Tisch says. “These men and women have made a decision to work in the largest industry in the world, and we have a responsibility to help them take care of their families and grow their careers. We can do better for them, and we can do more.”

>>Next: Travel Vanguard 2017—Larry Pimentel, CEO of Azamara Club Cruises

Jennifer Flowers is an award-winning journalist and the senior deputy editor of Afar.
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