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Robert Richardson

Institute of Hospitality

Robert Richardson


Robert Richardson FIH MI is the Chief Executive Officer of the award-winning Institute of
Hospitality (IoH), the world’s largest professional body of almost 16,000 hospitality
professionals worldwide, and a registered charity. IoH is dedicated to driving the recognition
of the hospitality profession and uplifting its membership through lifelong learning,
mentorship, and network-building.

A long-time member of IoH, Richardson built his career in the hospitality industry. Working
his way up through the ranks from hotel floor staff to hotel General Manager, and now as
CEO of IoH, he has a deep belief in making the hospitality industry open, inclusive, and
accessible to all who seek to join it. In 2021, Robert led the Institute to win the Chartered
Governance Institute UK&I “Diversity & Inclusion Strategy of the Year” award in recognition
of these efforts.

Prior to joining IoH, Richardson served in senior management positions at major hotel chains
including Hilton Worldwide, IHG and Ramada Jarvis, before applying those industry best
practices to a few of England’s best independent hotels. For the last 12 years, Richardson
served as General Manager across two independent, luxury properties, including a luxury
boutique hotel and golf resort in the Kentish countryside, and a grade 2 listed coastal
heritage property.

A true people champion, Richardson believes that for organisations to succeed and thrive,
people must feel they belong regardless of background or position. To this end, he regularly
speaks on his efforts in the international and U.K. conference circuit and trade press, as well
as contributing frequently to radio and podcast conversations in both his home country of the
U.K. and abroad.

Richardson was recognised by Hotel Designs on their 2020 Brit List as “one of the top 25
hoteliers operating in Great Britain” and on Boutique Hotelier’s “2022 Power List” as an
“Industry Titan”, “one of the top 50 inspirational and influential hospitality professionals
operating in the world today”. In 2022 Richardson was made an “Honorary Master Innholder”
by the Worshipful Company of Innholders and was recognised in the USA produced “Global
Hospitality” Magazine as “one of the 100 Most powerful People in Europe’s travel and
Hospitality Industry” in both 2022 and 2023.

Additional recognition includes: Southern Enterprise Awards’ Boutique Hospitality Manager
for two years running, the Shaw Trust Employer of the Year Award, for his work developing
hospitality employment strategies for people with disabilities, Boutique Hotelier’s “2020
Power List” as a “Young Trailblazer”, and the Institute of Hospitality Judges’ Special
Achievement Award.

Richardson is also a trustee for the registered charity “Room to Reward”, a unique volunteer-
recognition charity created to say ‘thank you’ to the inspirational volunteers who give up their
time to make a difference to those who need it most.

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“The event has been great – everything that we do with IHM is great. The panels have been amazing, you’ve got the feedback from the workshops and you walk out of these conferences feeling really engaged and open to more conversations. The tours were great and we had lots of discussions. Going out to see the products is quite different and seeing how everyone is expressing their brands.”

Suzanne Luscombe, business development director, Opago

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