Editorial Board   

Mr. Guaracino

Jeff Guaracino

Vice President, Communications, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp

Jeff Guaracino is vice president of communications for the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC), a position he assumed in 2006. In his role, Guaracino manages national and regional communications, the visiting journalist program, content development and corporate communications. He specializes in communications programs to African-American, Hispanic, Canadian and gay and lesbian travelers. The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside(R) a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region's vitality. Guaracino joined GPTMC in 2001 as director of communications. He is part of the team at GPTMC that created the internationally recognized gay tourism campaign, Philadelphia - Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay(R). This ground-breaking campaign has won GPTMC top awards in the travel, public relations and advertising industries. Elseiver, an international book publisher, invited Guaracino to write the first book on gay tourism marketing called Gay and Lesbian Tourism: The Essential Guide for Marketers, which was released in 2007. Active in the community, Guaracino was appointed by Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street to serve on the Mayor's Commission on Children. He also serves as vice president of the Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus, an organization he co-founded in 2002. His public service has been recognized by the American Heart Association with the "Rookie of the Year Award" and by the AIDS Coalition of Southern New Jersey with the "President's Award." In 2003, the Philadelphia Public Relations Association recognized his work with the "PPRA Fast Track Award," and Philadelphia Magazine named Guaracino one of 22 people to watch. A Philadelphia region native, Guaracino was raised in New Jersey and currently resides in the Old City section of Philadelphia. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey.

Mr. Guaracino can be contacted at 215-599-2290 or jeff@gptmc.com

Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.