Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Hammond

Tara Hammond

Group Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Manager, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Tara Hammond was named the group corporate social responsibility and sustainability manager at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts in May 2016. Previously, Ms. Hammond was the area CSR and sustainability manager for non-China hotels. She joined the group in 2011 as the area CSR and sustainability manager for resorts. During her time at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Ms. Hammond has contributed to the strategic development and implementation of corporate social responsibility through Sustainability, Shangri-La's Social Responsibility Programme, across the group's 96 properties worldwide. Sustainability encompasses environmental protection and community relations programs. In addition, Ms. Hammond has coordinated group-wide CSR initiatives, launching the Shangri-La Cares campaign to raise funds for relief and rebuilding projects. The group's CSR programs are measured by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Hang Seng Sustainability Index and have been recognized by industry awards. Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu, won the Intel AIM-Corporate Social Responsibility Award given by the President of the Philippines in 2011. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts CSR work was recognized at the Travel + Leisure Global Vision Awards for Leadership, and was a finalist at both the Conde Nast Traveler World Savers Awards and WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. From 2008 to 2010, Ms. Hammond was the environmental and social responsibilities manager at Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay in Oman. Prior to this role, Ms. Hammond was a consultant in the Sustainable Tourism Consultancy Project based in Syria. She has also held positions at the Jamaica National Tourist Office in Rome, Al Jazira Hotel and Resort in Abu Dhabi, and began her career in hospitality at The Carlton Hotel in the United Kingdom. Originally from the United Kingdom, Ms. Hammond studied responsible tourism management at the University of Greenwich following graduation from University of Surrey with a bachelor of science in International Hospitality and Tourism Management. Please visit http://www.shangri-la.com for more information.

Ms. Hammond can be contacted at 212-302-3155 or tara.hammond@shangri-la.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.