Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. O'Connor

Peter O'Connor

Academic Director, Institute de Management Hotelier Int.

Peter O'Connor is Chaired Professor of Digital Disruption at ESSEC Business School, France, where he also serves as Director of the MBA in Hospitality Management (IMHI), Europe's leading MBA program specializing in international hospitality management. Dr. O'Connor's primary research, teaching and consulting interests focus on the use of technology in the hospitality and tourism sectors. In addition to his textbooks on hospitality technology, Dr. O'Connor has published articles in leading academic journals including the Journal of Marketing, Harvard Business Review, Tourism Management, the Cornell Quarterly and the International Journal of Hospitality Management. Dr. O'Connor also works with PhoCusWright Inc. as a senior analyst specializing in the hotel technology space, as well as serving as Editor-at-large of Hotel Analyst Distribution & Technology, a leading industry publication focused on the sector. In 2015, he launched the first MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) on Hotel Distribution (coursera.org/learn/hotel-distribution) which currently has over has over 9.500 active learners. In addition to his academic duties, Dr. O'Connor also works with managers from a large variety of travel industry clients to help shape their electronic distribution and electronic marketing strategies. He is regularly quoted by the international press and consulted by investment companies and private equity firms on developments in the hotel technology arena. Prior to joining Essec Business School, Dr. O'Connor was a lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland. He has been a visiting researcher at the University of South Australia and held a visiting position at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration as well as worked in a variety of positions in the international hospitality industry in sectors ranging from luxury hotels to contract food services.

Mr. O'Connor can be contacted at +33 1 3443 3177 or oconnor@essec.fr

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.