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 March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.