Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Carter

Kevin Thomas Carter

Managing Director, Airlie Foundation

Kevin Thomas Carter has over 34 years experience in hospitality operations around the world. A proven performer, he has garnered the respect of industry leaders for his ability to motivate and challenge his team to achieve their potential. Mr. Carter is currently the Managing Director for the Airlie Foundation and has served in varying roles within the hospitality industry including, Director, Corporate Director, Resident Manager, General Manager and independent consultant. Mr. Carter's experience in the industry has been obtained while leading teams at of some of the countries most notable properties including the Rancho Bernardo Inn, U.S. Grant Hotel, Intercontinental Hotel San Diego, Club Corporation of America, Rancho Valencia Resort, Kiawah Island Resort, Bald Head Island Resort, The Founders Inn, and Airlie Conference Center. Mr. Carter has served on the opening team of several Hotels throughout his career in addition to transitioning several properties for new owners and operators. A sought after public speaker on a variety of subjects. Mr. Carter was the keynote speaker for the Annual National Conference on University and College Conference Centers (NCUCCC) at the University of Alabama. Topic expert presenter for several International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) meetings. Mr. Carter has been a leader in many associations and civic groups and has served locally on the Board of Directors for the Fauquier County Chamber of Commerce and the Fauquier Americas Promise. He served as the President of Warrenton Rotary Club, and Senior Warden and School Board Treasurer for the St. James Episcopal Church in Warrenton. Mr. Carter currently serves as a Trustee on the Board of Directors for the Fauquier Hospital, Health System and Fauquier Health Foundation and works on the Compliance & Audit and Quality & Safety Committees. Mr. Carter resides in Warrenton, Virginia 50 miles outside of Washington, D.C. in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with his wife Carrie and three children Madison, Emma and Jack. In his “free” time, Mr. Carter enjoys sports with his active family, fishing, hunting, politics and an occasional round of golf. Please visit http://www.airlie.com for more information.

Mr. Carter can be contacted at 540-347-1300 or kcarter@airlie.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.