Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Bravo-Smith

Manuela Bravo-Smith

Senior Designer - Hospitality, Carrier Johnson + Culture

From a very young age, as early as five or six-years-old, Manuela Bravo-Smith knew she wanted to become an architect. Born in Mexico City and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, Ms. Bravo-Smith has experienced the tangible and visual contrast between communities through time. Through travel and contact with various cultures, she has had the opportunity to reflect on how others see and experience new places. She has been influenced by her parent's background: her mother's simple and calm farm lifestyle, and her father's demanding career as a civil engineer in what was the biggest city in the world at the time. After completing a five-year architectural degree program from the Guadalajara University's CUAAD (University Center of Art, Architecture and Design) in 1997, Ms. Bravo-Smith began her professional journey from working at job sites to a project management position at an international engineering company, and finally to her current position with Carrier Johnson + CULTURE. The journey also led her to leave her native Mexico for Monterey in 2002, and then to San Diego in 2004. Working with well-established and respected architectural firms, Ms. Bravo-Smith has been exposed to a variety of domestic and international projects, ranging in building type from hospitality and mixed-use residential to corporate. While maintaining her architectural background she segued into the interior design field, and has been focused primarily on the hospitality sector since 2009. Working on four- and five-star hotel projects, Ms. Bravo-Smith works to elicit a unique personality for each project, rooting the design of each in the regional environment and historical context. Please visit http://www.carrierjohnson.com for more information.

Ms. Bravo-Smith can be contacted at 619-239-2353 or web@carrierjohnson.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.