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 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.