Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Waldvogel

Deborah Waldvogel

Director of Spa Development & Operations, Sedona Resorts

Deborah J. Waldvogel is the Director of Spa Development and Operations for Sedona Resorts. Ms. Waldvogel's responsibilities include financial feasibility studies, concept development, design, as well as managing opening and operations for unique, luxury resort and destination spas with an emphasis on wellness programs. Sedona Resorts is currently involved in the development and management of a Boutique Resort and Spa at Cocoplum, Placencia, Belize as well as Kittitian Hill, a Sustainable Resort Master Planned Community on the island of St. Kitts both of which are focused on healthy lifestyle programming. Ms. Waldvogel played an integral role leading the relaunch of the Spa at Regent Palms, Turks and Caicos which has been recognized as one of the Top Spas in the Caribbean by Conde Nast Traveler Reader's and received the World Travel Award as the World's Leading Spa Resort in 2012. Her most recognized experience in the spa industry came during the first six years of operations at Mii amo, a destination spa at Enchantment. As Director of Operations and an Executive Officer Committee Member, in addition to overseeing daily operations of all key spa departments, she was responsible for program development and coordination and was the resort training facilitator. Mii amo received numerous highly respected accolades including #1 Destination Spa in the World by Travel & Leisure readers. She is recognized as a leader in the spa industry serving as a Board member, Chairman, and currently Past Chairman for the International Spa Association (ISPA) where she has lead several task forces and committees including Nominations and the development of a Spa Operations Manual. During her seven years of Board Service, Ms. Waldvogel had the opportunity to network with Spa Professionals while attending and presenting at industry events in the U.S, Thailand, France, Egypt, and Costa Rica in addition to leading a regional event hosted by ISPA in India. Ms. Waldvogel continues to speak at both domestic and international events on behalf of the association. Before her success in spa, she was a private business owner in the travel industry and has 14 years of experience in curriculum development and teaching. She has served on the Arizona State University Spa Management Advisory Board. She is also committed to continuing her own education and is a LEED Accredited Professional. Ms. Waldvogel holds a B.S. in Biology and Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin La-Crosse.

Please visit http://www.sedona-resorts.com for more information.

Ms. Waldvogel can be contacted at 928-300-3236 or dwaldvogel@sedona-resorts.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.