Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Hess

John Hess

Director of Sales & Marketing, Omni Bedford Springs Resort

John Hess is a talented sales professional with extensive experience in leading a multitude of resorts along the east coast of the United States. Mr. Hess joins Omni Bedford Springs Resort as director of sales and marketing. I

n this role, he is tasked with overseeing the resort sales team and developing innovative strategies to increase revenues and drive business, with a focus on group clientele.

Mr. Hess arrived from nearby Seven Springs Mountain Resort, where he was the director of sales for the past five years. In years prior, he held key sales management positions at properties in the mid-Atlantic, including director of sales at Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort in Snowshoe, W.Va.; general manager / director of sales at Mariners Landing Resort and Conference Center in Huddleston, Va.; and director of sales at Wintergreen Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Mr. Hess made his debut in hospitality sales in 2002 as the corporate sales manager of Omni Richmond Hotel in Richmond, Va. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C., He also holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Richmond.

Mr. Hess is committed to staying active and involved in industry and community affairs. Mr. Hess has previously served as mayor of the Rockwood Borough in Pennsylvania from 2013 to 2015, as well as a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Travel and Tourism Board from 2014 to 2015.

Please visit http://www.omnihotels.com for more information.

Mr. Hess can be contacted at 814-623-8100 or jhess@omnihotels.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.