Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Venugopal

Emily Venugopal

Director of Hospitality, Relevance International

Emily Venugopal is a seasoned PR professional specializing in the luxury, lifestyle & travel sectors. She has over 20 years of experience, having worked at some of London, Miami and NYC's finest PR agencies, as well as in house as The Director of Public Relations at The Pierre, a Taj Hotel, New York, and most recently as a PR consultant in the wellness and travel space.

Ms. Venugopal is well experienced at hotel openings and has spearheaded several hotel and resort launches including: La Mamounia, Marrakech; Park Hyatt New York; The Chatwal New York; Andaz Peninsula Papagayo; The Waikiki EDITION; and Moxy Times Square.

Ms. Venugopal rebranded and reinvigorated the Instagram account for @thepierreny during her time working for Taj Hotels, and works closely with heavy hitting power-instagrammers, leveraging their influence. She's created solid PR strategies for several Tourism Boards globally including: Barbados Tourism, Namibia Tourism, The Greater Miami CVB, Palm Springs CVB, Texas Tourism, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism and Kent Tourism, and has worked with hotel brands including: Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, Andaz , Angsana, Park Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels, Moxy Hotels, Taj Hotels, EDITION Hotels, Oberoi, Morgans Hotel Group and Thompson Hotels.

Similarly, Ms. Venugopal has a depth of experience in creating successful PR campaigns for independent hotels including Forty 1 North, The Setai Miami Beach, Isle de France, Pariaiso de la Bonita, The Palms Turks & Caicos, Omni Berkshire Place and The Gleneagles Hotel. Ms. Venugopal is well versed in scoping out partnerships and 3rd party brand alliances for her clients, bringing greater cache, awareness and sales to the brands she represents.

Born and raised in England, Ms. Venugopal graduated from Sheffield Hallam University, UK with a BA Hons in Media Studies and moved to the US in 2005. She loves to travel with her family and sip cocktails on rooftop bars.

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

Ms. Venugopal can be contacted at 212-251-1500 or emily@relevanceinternational.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.