Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Edwards

Ken Edwards

Owner and CEO, HMBookstore and Tristar Hotel Group

Ken Edwards is the Owner and CEO of HMBookstore.com and Tristar Hotel Group, where he leads strategic vision and directly oversees core business functions to ensure positive corporate performance. With over 25 years in the hotel industry developing, acquiring and providing management to properties throughout the U.S., Mr. Edwards has turned his decades of experience into innovative business initiatives leading to products and services for the hospitality industry. He speaks nationally on topics of expertise, including revenue management, cash management, multi-property management, sales and marketing, and food and beverage. While owning and operating properties, and providing training to hotel employees, Mr. Edwards recognized an unfulfilled need for effective employee training solutions in all areas of hospitality and hotel operations, for enhancing employee retention, managing costs, increasing revenue, and better customer service. As a result, he founded HMBookstore, an online Learning Management System (LMS) platform used worldwide that provides over 150 online educational training courses for hotel owners and operators, individuals pursuing a career in the hospitality industry, as well hospitality industry professionals looking to enhance their skills. Mr. Edwards received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel Management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; a nationally recognized hospitality university. His is also a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America, continuing education in the Food and Beverage field. Throughout his career, Mr. Edwards has owned 18 hotels and has been honored with Hotel of the Year by Radisson McDowell. He is a past Board of Director for IHG Hotel Owners, and has served on IHG Brand Committees as Direct Sales Committee-Chairman, Holiday Inn Committee and IHG Frequent Travel Committee-Priority Club. Please visit http://www.hmbookstore.com/ for more information.

Mr. Edwards can be contacted at 602-453-9901 or keunlv@aol.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.