Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. O'Halloran

Robert O'Halloran

Professor & Director, Hospitality Management, East Carolina University

Bob O'Halloran, Ph.D., is a Professor and the Director of the School of Hospitality Leadership at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina. He is on the Board of Trustees of the American Hotel and Lodging Education Foundation, Vice Chair of the AH&LA's Certification Commission and on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Prior to joining ECU he was on the faculty of the University of Memphis, the State University of New York/ Plattsburgh, the University of Denver, Michigan State University and Central Michigan University. Professor O'Halloran has extensive operational experience as a general manager and a training manager for new properties with Jolly Roger and Trans Pacific Restaurants, Inc., in California. He also has operational experience with a Cape Cod resort in the front office and food and beverage departments and has worked as a hospitality management consultant with Pannell Kerr Forster in Los Angeles and Boston. As an academic, he has continued his industry experience through faculty internships with Aramark, Marriott Management Services, the Club Managers Association of New Jersey, the Lodging Division of Marriott International, and the Recreation Division of the United States Forest Service. He was also Visiting Scholar of the National Tourism Foundation. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Before moving to ECU in July of 2007 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Memphis Convention and Visitor Bureau (MCVB), the MCVB's Educational Foundation board, the Metropolitan Memphis Hotel and Lodging Association and the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association. He is currently a Commissioner for AH&LA's Certification Commission and was recently elected as Vice Chair and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation. He is also a member of the Educational Institute of AHLA Faculty Advisory Board. He is also a current member of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association Board of Directors. O'Halloran is a recipient of the Van Nostrand Reinhold Award for Teaching Innovation through the Council on Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Education and the Outstanding Teaching and Advising Awards in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. He has presented seminars and workshops for organizations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, including the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel & Motel Association, the China Travel Service, the China Travel & Tourism Press, the Hong Kong Hotels Association, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Choice Hotels International, the Grand Teton Lodge Company and others. He is a regular contributor to industry publications and has written over one hundred articles, columns and cases; for trade journals, newspapers, magazines and scholarly publications. He is co-author of a Service Learning chapter for the American Association of Higher Education for the hospitality industry and co-author of the education and training book, Mise en Place for Teaching: A Handbook for Hospitality & Tourism Educators & Trainers published by the Educational Institute of AH & LA. He is also co-editor of two books of case studies published by Prentice Hall and a member of the Board of Editors of the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education.

Dr. O'Halloran can be contacted at 252-737-1604 or ohalloranr@ecu.edu

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. 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.