Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Diggins

Catherine Diggins

General Manager, Hewing Hotel

Catherine Diggins is General Manager for Aparium Hotel Group's Hewing Hotel the Minneapolis hotel set to become the gateway to the North Loop's vibrant culture. An 18-year veteran to the industry with experience in 16 hotel openings and transitions, Ms. Diggins currently oversees the pre-opening period of the hotel, and is poised to manage day-to-day operations upon opening. “With the opportunity to open Hewing Hotel, the prospect of building a pivotal Minneapolis destination for visitors and social anchor for the North Loop neighborhood is invigorating,” says Ms. Diggins. “I am honored to be a part of the team that the Aparium Hotel Group has assembled to foster vibrant and eclectic experiences in the North Loop and beyond.” Ms. Diggins' dynamic and energetic hotel management skillset has fostered a successful hospitality career. Her passion for the industry evolved from a summer job she held in college as the front desk agent at the Westin Beach Resort, Key Largo, to an impressive portfolio of hospitality projects across the country. Spending fourteen years of her career at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Ms. Diggins developed her expertise as a Front Office Manager with Hyatt Regency Sarasota, Hyatt Regency Tampa, and Park Hyatt Los Angeles. Following these roles, Ms. Diggins held multiple leadership positions in the rooms division as the Assistant Director of Rooms at Grand Hyatt New York, Director of Rooms at Park Hyatt Washington, and Corporate Director of Rooms at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts amongst other positions. Following her time at Hyatt, Catherine transitioned to Marriott as the Resident Manager of JW Marriott Indianapolis from 2014 - 2015, and most recently served as the Director of Operations at the JW Marriott Minneapolis, overseeing the hotel operations during the hotel's opening and beyond. Please visit http://www.hewinghotel.com for more information.

Ms. Diggins can be contacted at 651-468-0502 or cdiggins@hewinghotel.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.