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 February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.