Editorial Board

Mr. Walsh

Richard Walsh

Vice President of Business Development, Lodging Interactive

Richard Walsh graduated from Western Michigan University with his BA in English. He has completed some Masters studies at the University of Miami and Yale University. Mr. Walsh has spent a long and productive career working in sales and/or marketing for travel companies such as Trans World Airlines, Air France, Reed International and The Official Airline Guide. Previously, Mr. Walsh was President of Amadeus USA (a global distribution system), Wizcom (technology division of Avis Auto Rental) and founder and president of Innovata (travel content aggregator). Richard was the founder of CASMA, the Computerized Airline Sales & Marketing Association a global association of airlines and related marketing services. Mr. Walsh is currently the Vice President of Business Development for Lodging Interactive, a leading hospitality Internet and social media marketing agency. He lives in the Atlanta GA area and enjoys local sports teams, tennis, skiing and researching local historical sites.

Mr. Walsh can be contacted at 770-533-9787 or rjwalsh@lodginginteractive.com

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.