Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ross

Sam Ross

Executive Director , Visit Carlsbad

Sam Ross was hired in 2009 as the Executive Director for Visit Carlsbad, the official destination marketing organization for Carlsbad, California. Visit Carlsbad is a non-profit organization created to market Carlsbad as a premier travel destination in Southern California and to increase the City's share of tourism-related revenues. Mr. Ross is responsible for implementing Visit Carlsbad's business and marketing plans and defines the marketing strategies for Carlsbad's growing tourism industry. This includes maintaining partnerships with local hotels and attractions. Mr. Ross also serves as key spokesperson for Carlsbad's tourism industry. Prior to joining Visit Carlsbad, Mr. Ross was employed in the tourism industry with the San Diego CVB and Denver Metro CVB. His earlier employment was with Rapp Collins Marco in Boston as an account executive, DiZinno Thompson Advertising and Phillips-Ramsey Advertising both located in San Diego, CA. Mr. Ross was born in 1964 in Cocoa Beach, FL., and in 1977 he and his family moved to Brussels Belgium where he attended and graduated from the International School of Brussels in 1983. Mr. Ross earned a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and advertising from the University of South Florida. Mr. Ross is a resident of Carlsbad, a board member for the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation. He is also a member of Rotary International. Please visit http://www.visitcarlsbad.com for more information.

Mr. Ross can be contacted at 760-434-6093 or samr@visitcarlsbad.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.