Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Toomey

Colin Toomey

Concierge, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Colin Toomey is a 25-year veteran of the Concierge profession. He began his career at the Sheraton Brisbane Hotel in the mid 1980's. A native of Sydney, Australia he returned home during the Australian bi-centenary celebrations of 1988 and started work in the lobby of the historic InterContinental Hotel Sydney. As the Japanese tourism boom of the early 1990's reached its peak Mr. Toomey opened the 470 room Hotel Nikko in Sydney's leafy Potts Point, assuming his first role as Chief Concierge. A final move back into the city in 1995 to the newly opened ANA Hotel, coincided with Colin's acceptance into the Society of the Golden Keys. Receiving his keys from the then International President of Les Clefs d'Or, the legendary Tony Facciolo, was considered by Mr. Toomey to be a highlight of his early career as a professional Concierge. In the ensuing 18 years Mr. Toomey has risen through the ranks of Les Clefs d'Or, first in his native Australia and then on the International Board of Directors. When elected President of his National Section in 2002 Mr. Toomey became the youngest person to ever hold this position. He presided over a period of strong growth for the Gold Keys in Australia. Two years later he was entrusted with the Zone Directors role for Oceania, the smallest of the seven regions that make up the international body of UICH. Having been elected onto the International Executive during the Guangzhou Congress of 2009 Mr. Toomey now holds the position of 1st Vice President Les Clefs d'Or and remains the only representative of that body based in the Southern Hemisphere. During his time at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, (which took over management from ANA in 2003), Mr. Toomey has received numerous industry awards recognizing his achievements. A two time winner of the Australian Hotels Association Concierge of the Year Award, Mr. Toomey was also a recent recipient of an equivalent honor bestowed by Hotel Management magazine. Outside of work Mr. Toomey is an avid golfer and bush-walker. He resides in the coastal Sydney suburb of Little Bay with his wife and three young daughters.

Mr. Toomey can be contacted at 612-9250-6018 or colin.toomey@shangri-la.com

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.