Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Bifulco

Ryan Bifulco

Founder & CEO, Travel Spike

Ryan Bifulco is an Internet and travel pioneer with over 15 years of travel and new media experience. An expert on interactive travel, destination marketing, and tourism, Mr. Bifulco has been featured on Business Talk Radio's Travel Show, ABC Radio, NY Times, and USA Today. Mr. Bifulco launched the first ever luxury travel podcast in January of 2006 called journeyPod. He founded and leads Travel Spike, an interactive company offering custom marketing and technology solutions exclusively to the travel sector. Mr. Bifulco and the team at Travel Spike provide digital strategy, dynamic packaging booking engines, and online travel marketing to over 1500 travel clients. He regularly speaks at top industry shows like PhoCusWright, Travel Industry Association, Destination Marketing Association International, and Hospitality Sales and Marketing International. Prior to Travel Spike, Mr. Bifulco was at LastMinuteTravel.com as VP Strategic Alliances and VP Operations. As a member of the AirTran management team, he established and ran the revenue management, pricing, distribution planning, tour, and e-commerce departments. Mr. Bifulco launched airtran.com in 1998 and guided it to become the number one airline website according to Salomon Smith Barney. He worked for US Airways in international revenue management. Mr. Bifulco was promoted three times in three years and was responsible for over $675 million in revenue per year. He received his degree in Economics from Wake Forest University.

Mr. Bifulco can be contacted at 770-433-2930 or info@travelspike.com

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.