Editorial Board   

Ms. Harralson

Joanna Harralson

Vice President Operations, The Insight Group International

During her 10 years with The Insight Group, Joanna Harralson, Vice President Operations, has visited more than 500 hotel and resort properties, internationally, as a group trainer/evaluator, director of field operations, client liaison to management companies and provider of intensive training to the company's newly hired investigative agents. Ms. Harralson uses her extensive knowledge and insights, plus her expertise in the area of evaluating employee cash handling integrity (gained by working closely with all aspects of The Insight Group) to help drive the company's stated goal of being the premiere hospitality spotting agency in the industry. Prior to joining The Insight Group, Ms. Harralson rose through the ranks and received hands-on training, as an employee in hotels, as front desk clerk, server, bartender, concierge, auditor and sales and marketing specialist.

Ms. Harralson can be contacted at (562) 694-3250 or jharralson@theinsightgroup.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.