Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Rondeau

Darlene Rondeau

Vice President, Best Practices, Online Merchandising, Leonardo

Darlene Rondeau has more than 25 years of sales and marketing leadership focused on providing solutions for Fortune 1000 Companies, primarily in the travel industry. Currently, Rondeau is Vice President, Best Practices, Online Merchandising for Leonardo. In this role, Ms. Rondeau has the objective of heightening awareness of new digital visual storytelling techniques that motive consumers throughout their travel shopping journey. Leonardo is an technology company serving the global hospitality industry. Leonardo provides e-marketers at hotel brands, management companies, hotel properties and travel websites with technology solutions that improve the way they present their hotels online to travel shoppers. Formerly at Leonardo, Ms. Rondeau held the position of Vice President, Hotels, The Americas. Ms. Rondeau previously served as Vice-President Sales and Marketing for G2 SwitchWorks, a travel technology company that integrates its private network of airlines and other supplier content into a web based single point of sales solution for Travel Companies. Prior executive roles include Vice President for Sabre Integrated Media, the largest access portal to the world's travelers as well as serving as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Agresso Travel Industry Solutions; a Netherlands based software provider of ERP solutions. Ms. Rondeau was with Sabre and its former parent, AMR, since 1979. Other positions with the company included Director, Airline Distribution; Director, National Accounts, Manager; Canadian Division Sales & Service; Regional Manager, Business Travel Solutions, and special assignments in Europe and Hong Kong. Her international experience contributes to the diversity and adaptability with which Ms. Rondeau conducts business. Over the last 2 decades, Ms. Rondeau's client list includes worldwide brands such as American Airlines, AT&T, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Disney, General Electric, Southwest Airlines, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, The Mark Travel Corporation and USA Today. Ms. Rondeau earned her degree in Travel and Tourism from Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto. She is a frequent speaker at industry events including HSMAI, IHG Owners Association, University of North Texas Hospitality School and Eye for Travel. Additionally, she hosts regularly scheduled educational webinars on the subject of digital storytelling for the hospitality industry, along with exclusive presentations for the world's top brands.

Ms. Rondeau can be contacted at 416-593-6634 or darlene.rondeau@leonardo.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.