Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Fernandez

Eduardo Fernandez

General Manager, Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach

Eduardo Fernandez is a seasoned hospitality industry professional with more than 30 years of diverse hospitality experience.

Mr. Fernandez began his hospitality education with the Institut de Tourisme & D'Hotellerie du Quebec for hotel management and later, Barry University for a bachelor's degree in management. He went on to launch his career at Le Centre Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Montreal and managed numerous properties for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts in Boston, New York, Delaware and Miami. He then went on to work with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and managed various properties for W Hotels.

Mr. Fernandez spent two years serving as general manager of B Ocean Fort Lauderdale, where he played a key role in the successful turnaround of B Hotels & Resorts' flagship hotel. Upon the 2014 sale of B Ocean, he was retained as general manager, and has since helped seamlessly transition the property into a successful new addition to the Sonesta Hotel & Resorts portfolio.

Mr. Fernandez is heavily involved in the local business community. He is the chairman of the Beach Business Improvement District for the City of Fort Lauderdale (4 years) and chairman of the Beach Council for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. He also sits on the boards of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Broward Chapter, as immediate past president and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. He is a part of the Greater Fort Lauderdale GM Council and also sits on the Broward Tourism Coalition Council.

As general manager, Mr. Fernandez maintains the operations of the property, featuring 240 guestrooms boasting panoramic views of Fort Lauderdale Beach or the Intracoastal Waterway. Opened in early 2019, he also supports Steelpan, the hotel's Caribbean-American fusion ocean-front restaurant.

Mr. Fernandez can be contacted at EFernandez@sonesta.com

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.