Appointments & Promotions

Preferred Group Appoints Christie Weller DoGS Southern California and Southwestern United States

CHICAGO - February 24, 2012 - Preferred Hotel Group™, a leading provider of sales and marketing support to independent hotels around the world is pleased to announce the appointment of Christie Weller as director of group sales for Southern California and Southwest.

In her new role, Christie will serve as a liaison between Preferred Hotel Group members in her region and meeting and event planners. She will actively work with the company’s events team to host a variety of client events, and will implement personalized meetings between the members and planners.

With over 10 years of hotel experience, Christie joins Preferred Hotel Group after departing Leading Hotels of the World where she served as group sales manger in Southern California. For the five years prior, she held a dual sales position with two boutique properties in San Diego: Estancia La Jolla and L’Auberge Del Mar. Passionate about sales, Christie also has extensive experience in a variety of markets including incentive, food and beverage, and management consulting.

Christie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and currently resides in San Diego, California.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Nichole DiBenedetto
Director, Global Public Relations
Tel: +1 646 465 9783
Fax: +1 212 541 7245
ndibenedetto@preferredhotelgroup.com

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.