Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Van Wees

Hans Van Wees

General Manager, Hotel Vermont

Hans Van Wees is General Manager of Hotel Vermont. Appointed in December 2012, he is responsible for managing the contemporary, LEED-certified address located in the heart of Burlington, overseeing all operations including sales and marketing and food and beverage. A seasoned hospitality professional with extensive hotel experience in the Green Mountain State, Mr. Van Wees arrived at Hotel Vermont following senior leadership roles at hotels across New England, Europe and the Caribbean. Trained as an officer in the Dutch army, he launched his career in the Netherlands with Sonesta International Hotels and Resorts before transferring to Bermuda to take up various senior management positions at the 400-room Sonesta Beach Resort and Spa. Mr. Van Wees then moved to the U.S. as General Manager of the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. He also provided consulting services to a variety of businesses throughout New England, including Jay Peak Resort in Jay, Vermont, where he led the opening of the boutique Tram Haus Lodge - a key component of the resort's $200 million expansion. Along with his hotel management expertise, Mr. Van Wees is a passionate advocate of sustainable development and operating practices in the hospitality industry. He has spoken on the subject at industry conferences and served as chairman of the Vermont Hospitality Council. He is also actively involved in hospitality education in Vermont, most recently as an adjunct professor at the Business Department of Johnson State College. Born and raised in the Netherlands, Mr. Van Wees studied Hospitality Management at the School for Hospitality Management in The Hague and earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is fluent in English and Dutch and also speaks German and French. Mr. Van Wees, his wife, Karen, and their son live in Burlington where they enjoy sailing on Lake Champlain as well as biking, hiking and cross-country skiing surrounded by the beauty of Vermont. Please visit http://www.hotelvt.com for more information.

Mr. Van Wees can be contacted at 802-651-0080 or talktous@hotelvt.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.