Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Bragiel

Justin R. Bragiel

General Counsel, Texas Hotel & Lodging Association

Justin R. Bragiel is General Counsel for the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association. Mr. Bragiel handles a diverse array of legal and legislative issues, including local and state hotel occupancy tax, hospitality law, regulatory issues, contract law, employment issues, and more. Mr. Bragiel joined the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association in February 2008. A member of the Texas Bar, Mr. Bragiel earned a Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in 2007, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin. Based in Austin, THLA is the largest state lodging association in the United States, serving over 2,500 member businesses by providing operational, technical, educational, marketing and communications services, in addition to governmental affairs representation. Please visit www.texaslodging.com for more information.

Mr. Bragiel can be contacted at 512-474-2996 or jbragiel@texaslodging.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.