Hyatt Hotels and Valerie Wilson Travel Launch the WISE Program

From left  to right:  Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg,  co-president, Valerie Wilson Travel; Maria Bhim, sales coordinator Hyatt Global Sales - Americas; Sarah Cavanaugh, reservations analyst, Park Hyatt New York; Lauren Kennovin, group rooms/reservations coordinator Andaz 5th Avenue; Kimberly Wilson Wetty - co-president, Valerie Wilson Travel.Hyatt Hotels and Resorts and Valerie Wilson Travel have launched the first instance of their WISE (Walking In Some Else's Shoes) program, a week-long training program where hoteliers and travel advisors swap places.

The program was first conceived two years ago in a meeting between Tristan Dowell, Hyatt's VP of luxury and consortia group sales, and Kimberly Wilson Wetty, co-president of Valerie Wilson Travel, who expressed interest in organizing a personnel swap. Three participants from the Park Hyatt New York and the Andaz Fifth Avenue traded places over a two-day period during the week of November 10. 

"The program touched on everything from the concierge desk to service fundamentals," Wetty said. "We see it as a chance to let others have insight into our operations, to tell us the good, the bad and the ugly. We received instant feedback from this, and expect to learn more from it down the road."

"It was a great opportunity to share knowledge with trusted & valued agency Valerie Wilson Travel," Dowell said. "Both Park Hyatt New York and Andaz NY hotels want the best possible service and outcome not only for its guests, but for the relationship it has with its travel agency community its so good to talk about our collective  opportunities and challenges too, and to move forward with a fresh perspective in unison."