Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Chouinard

Keith Chouinard

Director of Sales & Marketing, Hotel Viking

As Director of Sales & Marketing for Hotel Viking in Newport, Rhode Island, Keith Chouinard is responsible for the hotel's sales and marketing efforts including promotions, strategic partnerships, and new business development. Mr. Chouinard joined Hotel Viking in December 2015, one month prior to the historic hotel's renovations and six months before the hotel celebrates its 90th anniversary. Since joining the team, Mr. Chouinard has developed strategic partnerships with local sporting events including the Newport International Polo Series; retail outlets such as Marc Allen Clothiers; and welcomed more than 20 online, print and broadcast media guests to the landmark hotel. Mr. Chouinard's career began in high school when he worked as a banquet server at Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, MA. While attending University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he quickly moved up to banquet manager. After earning his degree in restaurant and travel administration, he joined Hyatt Regency in Lake Tahoe. Mr. Chouinard then served as director of sales with the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa, and then headed back East to take the role as Director of Business Development for Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Cape Cod, MA. Prior to joining Hotel Viking, Mr. Chouinard was affiliated with the Hyatt Regency Newport where he significantly increased groups business resulting in a nomination for Director of Sales of the Year for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts nationwide. Mr. Chouinard earned the 2015 Director of Sales of the Year Award from Davidson Hotels & Resorts, the company that owns the Hyatt property in Newport. Mr. Chouinard, who serves on the Board of Discover Newport, brings more than 15 years of experience in hospitality sales to the Hotel Viking team. Please visit http://www.hotelviking.com for more information.

Mr. Chouinard can be contacted at 401-847-3300 or kchouinard@hotelviking.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.