Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Bifulco

Ryan Bifulco

Founder & CEO, Travel Spike

Ryan Bifulco is an Internet and travel pioneer with over 15 years of travel and new media experience. An expert on interactive travel, destination marketing, and tourism, Mr. Bifulco has been featured on Business Talk Radio's Travel Show, ABC Radio, NY Times, and USA Today. Mr. Bifulco launched the first ever luxury travel podcast in January of 2006 called journeyPod. He founded and leads Travel Spike, an interactive company offering custom marketing and technology solutions exclusively to the travel sector. Mr. Bifulco and the team at Travel Spike provide digital strategy, dynamic packaging booking engines, and online travel marketing to over 1500 travel clients. He regularly speaks at top industry shows like PhoCusWright, Travel Industry Association, Destination Marketing Association International, and Hospitality Sales and Marketing International. Prior to Travel Spike, Mr. Bifulco was at LastMinuteTravel.com as VP Strategic Alliances and VP Operations. As a member of the AirTran management team, he established and ran the revenue management, pricing, distribution planning, tour, and e-commerce departments. Mr. Bifulco launched airtran.com in 1998 and guided it to become the number one airline website according to Salomon Smith Barney. He worked for US Airways in international revenue management. Mr. Bifulco was promoted three times in three years and was responsible for over $675 million in revenue per year. He received his degree in Economics from Wake Forest University.

Mr. Bifulco can be contacted at 770-433-2930 or info@travelspike.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.