Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Fears

Bruce Fears

President, ARAMARK Harrison Lodging

As President, ARAMARK Harrison Lodging, Bruce Fears is responsible for ARAMARK's operations at over 50 conference centers, corporate training centers and specialty hotels in educational environments, as well as 14 state parks and other resort operations across the United States. He returned to ARAMARK in May 2005 as Executive Vice President, ARAMARK Parks and Resorts. He assumed his current position in October 2005, following the integration of ARAMARK's conference center and corporate training business with its parks and resorts business. Mr. Fears has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He first joined ARAMARK in 1974 as food and beverage manager of the Skyland Lodge of Shenandoah National Park in Luray, Virginia. During his first tenure with ARAMARK, Bruce rose to the level of vice president, western region. In addition to his parks and resorts responsibilities, he was an integral part of ARAMARK's management team at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. Prior to rejoining ARAMARK, he was president of Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts. In this role, he grew the business to 17 locations across the United States and Canada. Mr. Fears received his bachelor's of arts degree from Bridgewater College in Virginia and continued through programs at University of London's School of Economics and University of Florida's School of Management. He currently sits on the National Board of the Travel Industry of America and is a founder of the Grand Circle Association. He previously served on the California State Park concessioners board, has testified before Congress on National Park Concession Policy and was the sole U.S. presenter at the World Congress of Parks in Durban, South Africa in 2004.

Mr. Fears can be contacted at 425-957-9708 or fears-bruce@aramark.com

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.