Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Millar

Michelle Millar

Assistant Professor Hospitality Management, University of San Francisco

Michelle Millar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Hospitality Management at the University of San Francisco. She received her undergraduate degree from UC Davis, her Masters of Tourism and Hospitality Management degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, and her doctoral degree in Hospitality Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Ms. Millar has worked as a travel consultant in various types of travel agency settings for many years, and from 1998 until 2005 operated her own travel agency. She has extensive knowledge in vacation planning, meeting planning, corporate travel planning, and general business operations. In addition, she has worked in a small hotel, which provided her the opportunity to work in all departments of the operation. Her work experience has proven invaluable when teaching at the University of San Francisco. Ms. Millar teaches Marketing in the Marketing Department, as well as Hotel Operations, Conference and Events Planning, and Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry in the Hospitality Management Department. She has also had the opportunity to teach both in the Hotel College at the University of Nevada of Las Vegas, and at UNLV's campus in Singapore. While at UNLV, she was part of the hospitality sustainability committee that developed a process to train faculty to teach sustainability to students, and incorporate it into all required courses. Sustainability is an important component of all of the classes Ms. Millar teaches. Her research areas include consumer behavior, in particular the wants and desires of travelers when selecting eco-friendly accommodations or tourism destinations, and why they make the decisions they do. Ms. Millar is also interested in how hotel managers relate to and work within the environment, and how we can make hospitality companies more environmentally friendly. Her research has been published in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Journal of Travel Research, Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality Management, and Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education, and she has presented her research at hospitality conferences throughout the world.

Ms. Millar can be contacted at 415-422-2498 or mmillar@usfca.edu

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.