Editorial Board   

Mr. DiLeva

Michael DiLeva

Executive Vice President, The IDT Group

Michael DiLeva joined The IDT Group - the hospitality industry's leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) services provider - in 2007 as the head of both the company's Gaming Division and corporate business development. In this role, he oversees a variety of tasks such as industry relations, marketing and strategic/solution alliances. Mr. DiLeva also plays an active role in the company's development and delivery of advanced guest management technology and services for hotel chains including Marriott, Millennium, Benchmark, Destination and Mandarin Oriental. IDT also serves over 200 upscale independent properties including Canyon Ranch, The Broadmoor and Hershey Resorts. Prior to joining IDT, Mr. DiLeva served as Executive Vice President and General Manger of KoolConnect Technologies - a leading provider of digital and advanced High Definition entertainment services to the luxury and upscale segments of the Hospitality Industry. While at KoolConnect, Mr. DiLeva oversaw Sales, Marketing, Operations and Product Definition, worked closely with leading operators including Mandarin Oriental, Pan Pacific, InterContinental and Wynn Resorts and helped the company to grow over 1,200% during his tenure. Earlier in his career, Mr. DiLeva served as Managing Director of the Hospitality Practice for Unisys Corporation, a Fortune(R) 300 technology and services company. In that position, he extended the company's travel solutions expertise from airlines into the hospitality industry and introduced a variety of solutions into this prior "green field" market for Unisys, including broadband connectivity and consulting, customer loyalty systems development and implementation, enterprise security and video-on-demand. During his time with Unisys, the Hospitality Practice grew from a start-up to a $12 million business and he personally provided consulting services for C-Level executives at major hotel companies and hospitality vendors in the United States, Europe and Middle East. Mr. DiLeva's other experience includes a stint as Vice President of Marketing for a hospitality technology company that deployed in-room High-Speed Internet Access in upscale and luxury hotel properties throughout the United States. In addition, he spent 10 years in marketing roles for Bally's Entertainment, Inc. and Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. and was the recipient of the 1998 corporate "Chairman's Award," the highest honor offered by Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., for his work helping to develop a patented loyalty program enhancement program. Mr. DiLeva has authored numerous articles on hospitality technology and customer loyalty and served as a Contributing Editor to National Hotel Executive, a leading online trade publication. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management from Rutgers University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Saint Joseph's University. He has also completed an executive leadership program conducted by the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business and serves on the Technology Advisory Board for the Penn State University School of Hospitality Management.

Mr. DiLeva can be contacted at 215-487-3522 or mdileva@theidtgroup.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.