Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Yokell

Lucille Yokell

Founder, Lucille Yokell Enterprises, Ltd.

After eight years with Hilton Hotels, mostly in New York City, Lucille Yokell returned from Boston to become the fourth female Director of Sales in New York City at what was then a 600 Holiday Inn.  From there she joined the Roosevelt which, at the time, had 1096 rooms and beautiful suites, and was one of four independent hotels owned by New York Central.  Ms. Yokell worked at the Roosevelt as one of the first Director of International Sales for more than nine years.  From there she became the Director of International Sales at the New York headquarters of a small independent luxury hotel company that had four hotels in three cities.  Together the total room count was less than the Roosevelt.

One year later Ms. Yokell started Lucille Yokell Enterprises, Ltd, where she did consulting for hotels, restaurants, attractions and destinations throughout the US.  One of her first clients was an outlet shopping center where she instituted a direct shuttle bus from midtown and created the first discount booklet.  Shortly after that she became the first person to sell Broadway theatre tickets overseas.  On June 21, 2000, Ms. Yokell  joined the Wellington Hotel as Director of Sales & Marketing where she continued to grow domestic and international business (we were the first New York City hotel to go on a sales trip to China) while increasing the average rate and occupancy until 2019.

Ms. Yokell is currently consulting, writing, editing and mystery shopping for hospitality and tourism clients.

Please visit http://www. for more information.

Ms. Yokell can be contacted at +1 917-981-5730 or lucilleyokellnyc@gmail.com

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.