Jerry Inzerillo is a pioneer in the tourism industry. He is the Group CEO of Diriyah Company, the organization responsible for the $63.2 billion project that is transforming the Kingdom’s ancient capital into a world-class culture and tourism destination.
Inzerillo has over 50 years of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry. He began his career at Hilton Hotels, where he held a variety of positions in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. In 2004, he joined the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, where he served as the president of the Middle East and Africa region. In 2010, he was appointed Group CEO of Diriyah Gate Development Authority, and now also of Diriyah Company.
Jerry Inzerillo commented: “My greatest passion is people and at its core, that is what hospitality is all about. I have been fortunate to have delivered projects that have been recognized and celebrated across the globe, working with the very best in this industry to curate, and enhance experiences that forge deeper emotional connections for travelers and guests.”
Under Inzerillo’s leadership, Diriyah Company has made significant progress in setting out its vision for Diriyah’s future. The district will be home to a number of luxury hotels, restaurants, retail and cultural attractions, and is already home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, the original home of House Al Saud and the center of government of the First Saudi State.
Inzerillo has made it his mission to realize the vision of His Royal Highness The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Diriyah, which is to create a vibrant and inclusive community that will attract visitors from all over the world. This includes a commitment to developing a sustainable tourism destination that champions the local culture and heritage.
“Diriyah Company is delivering one of the world’s premier cultural destinations. Centered around the awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ancient At-Turaif district. Diriyah, is a place to immerse yourself in Saudi Arabia’s heritage and history. The entire team has a huge amount of pride in the role we are playing in opening such an iconic historical site to the world at large. Our work is about celebrating and showcasing all that Saudi culture has to offer and we are all motivated by the pride in which it is held by the Saudi people.”
Inzerillo’s work has already been recognized by leading global organizations. He was named one of the Top 100 Travel and Tourism Leaders in the Middle East by Forbes Middle East in 2023. He was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Hospitality and Tourism Association of Saudi Arabia in 2022.
“Vision 2030 is fueling a truly remarkable transformation across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Young people are being empowered to explore and connect with their past, celebrating the history of their nation while embracing the future. As Diriyah grows, the opportunities in tourism, hospitality and the full breadth of sectors and services offered across this historic city offer boundless avenues for growth, training, and success. It is a real privilege to be involved in the passing on of century-old skills, practices and values to future generations, ensuring their continuity and celebration during Diriyah’s next chapter”
Inzerillo is a passionate advocate for tourism and its role in economic development. He believes that tourism can help to create jobs, boost economic growth, and promote cultural understanding. He is committed to working with the Saudi government and the private sector to develop a sustainable tourism industry that will benefit all of Saudi Arabia.
Early Life and Education
Born in 1954 in New York City, Jerry Inzerillo grew up with a passion for hospitality. Keen on pursuing a career in the field, he embarked on his professional journey with Hilton Hotels. This pivotal moment marked the start of his path in the hospitality sector, which would eventually lead him to notable accomplishments and contributions within the industry.
Inzerillo has held a variety of positions in the hospitality and tourism industry over the course of his career.
One of Jerry Inzerillo’s first roles in the industry was as a member of the kitchen and wait staff of a New York catering company. He quickly rose through the ranks and the industry, and by 1987, he had co-founded Morgans Hotel Group, the Management Company that established the first ‘pop-culture’ boutique hotel group in America.
Career at Diriyah Gate
In 2017, Inzerillo was appointed as the Group CEO of Diriyah Gate Development Authority. Diriyah Gate is a $63.2 billion development project located just outside Saudi Arabia’s capital city of Riyadh. The project is tasked with transforming Diriyah, home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, into a world-class cultural and tourism destination.
“Community is at the very core of Diriyah. How many places can claim the mantle of the birthplace of a nation and be so integral to its history and identity? We take that role very seriously and whether that’s through community outreach programs, the preservation of local culture or partnerships with local artists, our work showcases, celebrates and empowers the Diriyah community.”
Inzerillo has been instrumental in the development of the Diriyah project. He is overseeing the construction of more than 28 new hotels, restaurants, and cultural attractions, including six museums. He has also worked to attract international businesses and events to the destination.
Awards and Recognition
Inzerillo has been recognized for his work in the hospitality industry. In 2019, he was named one of the Top 100 Travel and Tourism Leaders in the Middle East by Forbes Middle East. He was also named the CEO of the Year at the 2019 Hotelier Middle East Awards.
Jerry Inzerillo is a respected leader in the hospitality industry. He has a proven track record of success in developing and managing world-class destinations. His work at Diriyah is helping to transform Saudi Arabia into a leading tourism destination.
Here are some additional details about Inzerillo’s career:
- He is a graduate of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, in Hotel Administration.
- He is a member of the American Hotel and Lodging Association and the World Travel & Tourism Council.
- He is a frequent speaker at industry events.
- He is passionate about using tourism to promote economic development and cultural understanding.
Jerry Inzerillo is married and has a daughter. He is a passionate advocate for tourism and its role in economic development. He believes that tourism can help create jobs, boost economic growth, and promote cultural understanding.
“Leadership and management success are subjective, but I think two things are key, being a great motivator and an even better listener. A leader must inspire and motivate their staff. If they feel disenfranchised, fail to work together, or are not driven in pursuit of the bigger picture, they will not reach their full potential. But possibly more importantly, if you fail to hear the concerns or challenges being faced by your staff or recognize a good idea and work to implement it, you will never get the most out of your team’s skills or energize them to succeed. So, my approach to leadership is to be a great motivator and an even better listener.”
Inzerillo’s work at Diriyah is helping to transform Saudi Arabia into a leading tourism destination. The project is expected to create over 55,000 jobs and attract over 27 million visitors per year.
Inzerillo is a respected leader in the hospitality industry. He has a proven track record of success in developing and managing world-class destinations. His work at Diriyah is a testament to his vision and commitment to excellence.
“I always encourage everyone to learn from their neighbor. Working together and learning from each other is key to fostering a positive and empowering culture of innovation and creativity.”
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