Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Tossell

David Tossell

Vice President, DataArt

David Tossell, CTC, Vice President, DataArt started in the mailroom of his family's travel agency 20+ years ago and made his way across the industry working for companies such as Sabre, Travelocity and Virtuoso. David joined DataArt in 2014 as Vice President, Travel & Hospitality Practice, having most recently served as Vice President of Marketing for WMPH Vacations / iCruise.com. Mr. Tossell is a serial entrepreneur, with experience ranging from global product marketing & development, to marketing promotions, business operations, SEO/SEM, and email marketing. Over the course of his career, he led many start-up businesses, including the Sabre Rewards travel agent loyalty program, and APInet, the travel distribution industry's first extranet. Most recently, Mr. Tossell oversaw the creation of TimeshareAdvisor - a review website for timeshare owners. At Travelocity, David oversaw the account team for the affiliate / private label distribution business with over 1,900 partners including Yahoo, AOL, American Express and AAA. During his time as CEO of CruiseLabs, he lead the company to a “runner-up” spot in the PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit and went on to establish a global network of over 70 cruise research and booking web sites, Mr. Tossell received his BS in Business Administration from Pepperdine University and earned his Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) designation from The Travel Institute in 1997. He co-authored *Technology In The Travel Industry* (1998 edition), a textbook for The Travel Institute's CTC training curriculum. Mr. Tossell lives in Texas with his wife and two sons. The couple founded several programs in the Dallas / Fort Worth area aimed at helping families with Autistic children to travel and assisting with the education/rehabilitation of Autistic children via technology.

Mr. Tossell can be contacted at

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.