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 February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.