HSMAI recently honored the 2021 Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Optimization — recognizing leaders from hospitality, travel, and tourism organizations for their accomplishments in the preceding 18 months. Mercedes Blanco, vice president of strategic partnerships, The Hotels Network, is one of these honorees.
Mercedes Blanco, CMP, CIS, CHDM, has over 15 years of experience in travel and hospitality, defining strategies and leading international sales and marketing teams, building on her experience working for brands such as BCV a Rategain Company, Maritim Hotels, Value Retail, Microsoft, and AC Hotels by Marriott. Originally from Spain, Mercedes relocated to Miami in 2014 to bring her international business acumen to the U.S. travel industry. With two bachelor’s degrees, two master’s degrees and professional education from IE Business School and Harvard University under her belt, she brings a high level of intellect and industry experience to her role at The Hotels Network. Additionally, as one of the founding members of Women in Travel Thrive, Mercedes is actively shaping a brighter future for women in the travel industry.
Key accomplishment: In 2021, Mercedes completely redesigned BCV’s team structure, setting the organization up for one of the strongest years in its recent history.
What inspired this nomination? “I had the good fortune of working with Mercedes for over four years, and I spent a lot of that time in awe of her drive, business acumen, and quick ability to problem solve. I have learned a lot from her about how to be a better sales professional and how to lead.”
Blanco on what has kept her motivated over the past year: “Building a new team after COVID, making sure I was coaching them and helping them to be successful in a remote work environment. At the same time, I knew I had to think about my own career aspirations, even if that meant leaving my new team, so I decided to join The Hotels Network because I wanted to learn, grow, and challenge myself in different ways. During COVID, we have all experienced adjustments and discovery, and I went through several life-changing situations that always brought me back to the joy this industry offers me.”
Blanco on her silver lining this year: “Business is no longer just business, it is personal. COVID made business relationships more meaningful. I have always treated my teams, prospects, clients, and partners with the same care, respect, and transparency because that is who I am. I discovered that I need to be true to myself and build business relationships on professional trust; quality is what matters.”
Nominate a colleague, mentor, or partner for HSMAI’s Top 25 Extraordinary Minds 2022 Class, which honors exceptional Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization, or Distribution leaders.