Checking in with Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide

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In the latest of a regular series, we check in with leading hoteliers and general managers to get an exclusive glimpse into their careers, their lives and their ambitions. This time, we speak to Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide.

I enjoy my job because…

Hospitality is in my blood. I've been working in the industry for four decades, and I love the fact that at Forbes Travel Guide, I get to champion, support and celebrate all those with a passion for extraordinary service every day.

I find my job challenging because…

It has never been more challenging to run a luxury hotel, for so many reasons ranging from increased competition to geopolitical factors. However, I think that it also provides a great opportunity for Forbes Travel Guide because as a brand we are the one constant that help properties flourish in what they do - providing excellent service - and that's despite any challenges.

My best achievement in business was…

Leading Forbes Travel Guide's biggest expansion into 16 new countries in 2019. It's no mean feat, and my team has worked incredibly hard to make it happen. Forbes Travel Guide is now present in 74 countries, and we continue to be the only global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas.

My worst mistake in business was…

Declining work in Asia. It would have been a fantastic experience and nothing beats Asian hospitality.

What I am yet to accomplish is…

I joined Forbes Travel Guide in September 2018, and I'm on a mission to raise the awareness of the brand. I want people to get to know it as the most trusted platform to help travel consultants and consumers alike in making their booking decisions.

If I could change one thing about myself, it would be…

To have more patience. Rome wasn't built in a day and sometimes when I have a vision, I want it done 'yesterday'.

If I could change one thing about the industry, it would be…

To have the ability to work with key industry figures to promote our wonderful hospitality industry in a more appealing way, particularly to the younger generation. Every general manager I speak to cites staff acquisition and retention as an issue and I think there's lots we can do in terms of better training and career paths to attract much needed new blood.

My top three bucket list items are…

Taking a cruise in Antartica, playing the Augusta national golf course and to become a qualified sky diver.

My life philosophy is…

Work hard and play hard, making sure you do everything with passion.

My favourite song, book or film is…

Rumours by Fleetwood Mac is my all-time favourite album. Simon Sinek's 'Start with Why' is a must for anybody in a leadership position and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a film I never tire of watching thanks to Jack Nicholson's brilliant performance.

My ideal weekend would be…

A good game of tennis followed by a delicious casual meal ending with a good movie.

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