Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Maher

Melissa Maher

Senior Vice President - Global Partner Group, Expedia, Inc

As the leader of the Global Partner Group for Expedia, Inc., Melissa Maher spearheads all aspects of global business relationships with the company's top hotel partners.  Ms. Maher has taken an active role in driving significant discussions within the hospitality industry regarding issues affecting lodging supply partners and key stakeholders in the online travel space.

Ms. Maher oversees the teams responsible for creating new initiatives, driving the strategy behind negotiations, distribution, and connectivity for Expedia's chains, key accounts, and independent partnerships. She also leads Expedia's gaming lodging supply division.

As part of her role, Ms. Maher also manages the Global Partner Marketing team which strives to enhance relationships with key partners including large and regional brands, connectivity providers, ownership groups, management companies, and industry associations, along with executing marketing communications and global partner events.

During her tenure with Expedia, Ms. Maher has been passionate in driving meaningful dialogue about women in leadership within the company and hospitality industry.

Previously, Ms. Maher served as regional director with Expedia, with oversight of the Nevada/gaming lodging division. Prior to joining Expedia in 2001, Maher opened the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas as the director of conference center sales. She also served as director of tour and conference sales with the Las Vegas Hilton.

Ms. Maher received an M.B.A. and a B.S. in hotel administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Ms. Maher can be contacted at 702-938-2347 or MMaher@expedia.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.