Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Wilhelmsen

Kevin Wilhelmsen

Dean, University of Phoenix School of Business

Kevin Wilhelmsen is the program dean and faculty member for University of Phoenix School of Business. In this role, he is responsible for the development of industry-aligned curriculum, assessment of student learning outcomes, faculty scholarship and academic policy development. He regularly engages industry associations and employers to inform the University's curriculum and chairs the Business and Industry Relations Committee for the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, a global business accreditation association. Mr. Wilhelmsen leads the development of a portfolio of academic programs in industries including hospitality, retail and financial services. He recently worked with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute to develop an industry-aligned associate degree and certificate program in Hospitality Fundamentals. Mr. Wilhelmsen holds a Master of Business Administration from University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arizona. He regularly authors research articles for the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and is a site team evaluator for the organization.

Mr. Wilhelmsen can be contacted at 602-557-1262 or Kevin.Wilhelmsen@phoenix.edu

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. 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.