Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Wilson

Jonathan Wilson

VP Product Innovation & Brand Services, Hilton Worldwide

Jonathan Wilson leads a team of the best professionals in the industry to provide global product innovation and brand definition in food and beverage, spa and wellness, rooms division, and meeting and public spaces for 14 worldwide brands. In addition, he is responsible for pursuing the development of strategic opportunities in innovation through creative partner solutions, talent exposure and a fostered environment. Prior to Joining Hilton Worldwide in May of 2015, Mr. Wilson spent 15 years at Princess Cruises, the number one cruise line in the premium market segment and fourth largest cruise line in the world. As vice president, guest food and beverage experience, product development and hotel analysis, Mr. Wilson led the team that creates and delivers the food, beverage, bar, lounge, and dining experiences for guests and crew through guest culinary, dining and beverage services. He was responsible for guiding product development in the areas of culinary, dining and beverage services, through newbuild initiatives, revitalization efforts, capital expenditure, crew engagement and product relevance of Asia source markets. The goal of his team was to create onboard offerings that drive new demand and build customer loyalty while maximizing onboard revenue, cost control, operational efficiencies. Mr. Wilson's positions within Princess Cruises included director of culinary operations, director of hotel operations, vice president of hotel operations for newbuild and product development, and vice president of hotel operations food & beverage and product development. Before joining Princess Cruises, Mr. Wilson held management positions at the Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management where he led the Educational Division of the Belvoir Park Swiss Hotel School as well as functional hotel and food and beverage operations; The Palace of the Lost City in South Africa, and the Grand Wailea Resort and Spa in Maui, Hawaii where his career as a Chef de Cuisine afforded him the opportunity to cook for celebrities, dignitaries and peers. Starting as a chef by trade with an apprenticeship from the Grove Park Inn and Country Club in North Carolina, Mr. Wilson also earned a degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University. Originally from Indiana, Mr. Wilson continues to enjoy traveling the world and now lives with his wife and three daughters in Leesburg, VA. Please visit http://www.hilton.com for more information.

Mr. Wilson can be contacted at 703-883-1000 or jonathan.wilson@hilton.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.