Editorial Board   

Mr. Taillon

Justin Taillon

Professor & Program Manager, Highline College Hospitality & Tourism Management

Justin Taillon spent 8 years in hospitality operations before joining academia including stints with Marriott, Starwood, and Hilton. He began his career in Food & Beverage operations, moved into hotel operations, and was an Assistant General Manager with Hilton before moving into academia.

Justin's academic endeavors include working toward a B.Sc from the University of Houston's prestigious Conrad Hilton School of Hospitality Management, an MBA from the University of Guelph, and a PhD from Texas A&M University's Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences. He also holds a certificate in revenue management from ESSEC in Paris, France.

He is currently the department head for Hospitality & Tourism Management at Highline College in Seattle, WA, a university featuring eight emphasis areas to pursue within the hospitality and tourism industries including: aviation, casino, cruise lines, destination marketing organizations, ecotourism, event planning, food and beverage, and hotels.

Justin maintains an academic and applied focus in his research and outreach by serving as an Editor for Anatolia, being a Global Director for HFTP (Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals, the professional association responsible for HITEC), and working with industry partners to create grants that can improve the hospitality workforce. Some recent and current industry partners and projects include:

- Starbucks, where he oversees a project that trains 16-24 year-olds in customer service and barista skills in Seattle;

- Project Feast's Ubuntu Cafe in downtown Kent, WA, where refugees to the United States learn customer service, food & beverage, and event management skills while sharing their home-cooked meals and cultural experiences with patrons;

- Port of Seattle (i.e. SeaTac Airport), where he works with SeaTac Airport's human resources department to prepare potential employees for the workforce in one of the world's largest airports;

- STR, where he worked in Hendersonville to co-create CHIA (Certification in Hospitality Industry Analytics) alongside STR and other applied academics.

His primary research emphasis area is market-based socio-cultural conservation through hospitality operations. The aforementioned projects are examples of ventures that fall under the guise of his research areas.

He is currently based in Seattle, WA, but holds three citizenships (Canada, Hungary, & USA) and has conducted projects globally over the past decade in locations such as Jeju Island in South Korea, Madre de Dios in Peru, Samburu's Sabache Camp in Kenya, Velika Plaza in Montenegro, and many more.

Mr. Taillon can be contacted at 206-592-3953 or jtaillon@highline.edu

Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.