Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Garwood

Sue Garwood

Manager of Education and Training, Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Sue Garwood brings more than 25 years of hospitality industry experience to the Best Western® Hotels & Resorts team. As manager of education and training, she oversees daily operations and programming for the company's Member Learning Resource program. In that role, she oversees the creation, planning and researching of member solutions and is responsible for helping achieve the department's revenue and special performance goals. Ms. Garwood has worked with Best Western on a corporate level for the past ten years, but her association with the company began years before, as general manager and then owner/general manager of a limited-service Best Western property. She has a solid understanding of what it takes to excel on the property level and as a result, she is able to truly help impact the success of members on a daily basis. Ms. Garwood began her career with the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau and has held several positions across various segments of the hospitality industry, including hotel sales and marketing, tourism promotion and more. She also previously owned and operated a training company, STG Hosting.

Please visit http://www.bestwestern.com for more information.

Ms. Garwood can be contacted at 602-957-4200 or sue.garwood@bestwestern.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.