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 June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. 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.