Editorial Board   

Mr. Smith

Donald R. Smith

Executive Vice President, Nor1 Inc.

Don Smith, a noted expert in ecommerce for hospitality, is responsible for developing strategic supply partners worldwide and creating additional revenue opportunities through innovative upgrade processes and other up-selling related modules and processes. Mr. Smith also oversees the implementation of the Nor1's suite of revenue enhancement products with these suppliers. Prior to Nor 1 Inc., Mr. Smith most recently headed up Business Development at SideStep from their early stages in 2004, maximizing SideStep's revenues and building the most comprehensive supply network in online travel, positioning the company for the successful sale to Kayak Software in December 2007. Prior to SideStep, Mr. Smith headed up the sales efforts at WorldRes, the first the real-time internet based hotel distribution platform. Mr. Smith was the founder of Performance Marketing, a corporate meeting planning, representation and consulting group. Mr. Smith has also held senior level sales and marketing positions at Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts, Pan Pacific Hotels and Princess Hotels International. He currently plays leadership roles in a number of different hotel industry associations, including the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA). Mr. Smith lives on the San Francisco Peninsula with his wife and three children.

Mr. Smith can be contacted at 408-996-7417 or don.smith@nor1.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.