Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. Hawkins

Rebecca Hawkins

Managing Director, Responsible Hospitality Partnership

Rebecca Hawkins is the Managing Director of RHP Ltd, a Research Fellow of Oxford Brookes University and Visiting Professor to the International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University. A resource management specialist, with training in ISO 14001 implementation, Dr. Hawkins has managed a number of projects that combine the need to deliver sustainability initiatives alongside cost savings. Dr. Hawkins regularly provides training within hotel businesses and offers strategic consultancy to help senior executives in the sector design effective responsible business programs. Through RHP, she provides consulting services to a wide range of clients from across the hospitality and food service sectors. Her experience in the sector means that she has been asked to write or contribute to much of the guidance that is available to the sector on resource efficiency. She also regularly writes for the trade press. She has recently made input into UK energy and waste initiatives and has played a role in a major waste prevention initiative for the sector. She also works with many of the NGOs in the sector, for example, delivering some of the initial research about the credibility of different sustainable tourism certification initiatives and leading research into customer expectations of responsible business programs. Dr, Hawkins has recently published two books on responsible hospitality. One of these is recognized as “the complete handbook for corporate responsibility in the hospitality industry” and the other includes letters from 46 industry leaders about the importance of Green Growth.

Dr. Hawkins can be contacted at 44-1993-868392 or rebecca@rhpltd.net

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.