Editorial Board   

Mr. Schuurman

Darrell Schuurman

Co-Founder, Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

Darrell Schuurman is the co-founder of Travel Gay Canada, working towards improving economic opportunities for members through research, product development, and the promotion of Canada as an LGBT travel destination. Mr. Schuurman is also the co-founder of the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Schuurman has over 20 years experience in tourism, working in the accommodation, transportation, tourism services, and travel trade sectors of the industry. Mr. Schuurman is currently the Managing Partner at DNA Marketing Group, a specialized marketing company offering a full-range of services for the tourism industry. Prior, Mr. Schuurman spent 6 years with VIA Rail Canada as Manager of Market Development and 5 years with the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council as Director of Sales & Marketing. Mr. Schuurman completed his Bachelor of Commerce Degree concentrating in Tourism at the University of Calgary, and completed his Executive MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University.

Mr. Schuurman can be contacted at 416-761-5151 or darrell@cglcc.ca

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.