100 Years of Hilton, 100 Years of Hospitality

With more than 5,600 properties around the world – and a new hotel opening every day – Hilton continues to lead with industry innovations and a commitment to sustainable travel

Hilton, the world’s first global hotel company, celebrates its milestone 100th anniversary on May 31, in the midst of the most dynamic year in the company’s storied history. The hospitality brand that pioneered air-conditioned lobbies, in-room televisions, the computerized reservation system and even Puerto Rico’s national drink – the piña colada, now thrives in 113 countries and territories, across 17 distinctive brands with more than 5,600 properties and a new one opening every day.

Hilton’s legacy began on May 31, 1919, when New Mexico-born Conrad Hilton traveled to Texas with plans to buy a bank. While that deal fell through, Hilton’s pioneering spirit did not falter – he instead bought the hotel where he had been staying.Through the times good and bad, Hilton continued adding new hotels to his collection. By the early 1950s, Hilton had established the first coast-to-coast hotel chain in the United States; opened his first hotel outside the continental U.S, the iconic Hilton Caribe in Puerto Rico; expanded overseas with the Hilton Istanbul, the first hotel built from the ground up in Europe after WWII; and became the first hotelier to appear on the cover of TIME magazine.

Soon, Hilton hotels would circle the globe, introducing and popularizing innovations that in many ways created the modern hospitality industry. This includes now customary amenities such as room service, a central reservation system, airport hotels and the well-loved mini-bar.The innovation continues in 2019, with the ongoing introduction of Connected Room – the first truly mobile-centric room – putting room key, TV, temperature and lighting controls on a smartphone app – and a commitment to the Travel With Purpose goals of doubling Hilton’s social impact while reducing by half the company’s environmental footprint by 2030.

Hilton Sofia makes no exception when it comes to Hilton firsts. Hilton is Sofia’s pioneer hotel in urban beekeeping, the first one to install a solar heating system on its roof, as well as the first hotel to offer free rental bikes in an attempt to promote wellbeing and encourage guests to discover the city in an eco-friendly way. Hilton Sofia is also proud to be the only hotel in Sofia to help individuals with Down syndrome find competitive employment and keep it.

Globally, Hilton has been recognized for its exceptional workplace culture and is the first hospitality company in history to achieve the #1 ranking on the Fortune Best Companies to Work For® in the U.S. list. Additionally, in 2018, Hilton was ranked as the #1 best workplace for both diversity and parents and #2 on the World’s Best Workplaces list, recognized by Great Place to Work®.It is a remarkable moment for a company that began a 100 years ago with a single noble idea: that travel can make the world a better place. Since then Hilton has welcomed 3 billion guests, employed 10 million Team Members and contributed $1 trillion in economic impact.

But the future looks even more exciting. With one of the industry’s fastest-growing pipelines, Hilton is doubling down to expand to more than 20 additional countries by 2020. There are already more than 2,300 hotels in Hilton’s construction pipeline, and one of every five hotel openings in the world is a Hilton.