Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Samuels

Gerry Samuels

Founder & Executive Director, Mobile Travel Technologies, Ltd.

Gerry Samuels has a number of involvements in software businesses in UK, Ireland and Australia. In 2000 Mr. Samuels was judged as amongst Ireland's Top 20 Entrepreneurs by Business Plus magazine, Ireland's largest circulation business magazine. Mr. Samuels is business advisor to an Irish government program for technology entrepreneurs. Mr. Samuels is an innovative and creative leader in the mobile and travel industry. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and a regular contributor to trade publications. Mr. Samuels has been at the leading edge of mobile travel - recognizing in early 2003 that mobile phones had the capability to transform the traveller experience. A travel industry veteran, Mr. Samuels has more than 20 years experience in the travel industry, at Thomson Travel (TUI) and then at Worldspan, where he became Director - Northern Europe. In 1997 he co-founded Gradient Solutions, a Dublin-based internet booking engine specialist. With a record of rapid and profitable growth, and a client list including many of Europe's and North America's largest airlines and intermediaries, Gradient was acquired by Sabre in August 2000. Following the acquisition, he served two years as Vice President, Business Development, Sabre. Mr. Samuels started actively looking at the opportunities in mobile travel in 2003 and started development on a mobile travel platform in 2004. Mobile Travel Technologies (MTT), a Dublin based mobile software development specialist for the travel sector, was founded in 2005 by Mr. Samuels, and he is the full-time Executive Director. He leads the commercial development of the organization. MTT boasts a team of more than 45 mobile travel specialists. The MTT mobile travel platform, M2B, powers some of the busiest travel m-commerce sites in the world, and millions of euro pass through the platform each week. M2B delivers the efficiency and speed-to-market of a “Develop Once, Deploy Everywhere” mobile approach. With M2B a single implementation delivers both mobile web and apps, but where other platforms produce lowest common denominator apps, M2B Next Gen deploys 100% real, fully native apps for each mobile operating system. MTT applies a layer of custom handcode to each app to take advantage of the native user interface capabilities of each mobile operating system. Mr. Samuels has a number of involvements in software businesses in UK, Ireland and Australia. In 2000 Gerry was judged as amongst Ireland's Top 20 Entrepreneurs by Business Plus magazine, Ireland's largest circulation business magazine. He is business advisor to an Irish government program for technology entrepreneurs. MTT has quickly built up an impressive client roster of leading airlines and hotel chains including AirAsia, easyJet, S7, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Melia Hotels International, Jumeirah Group and Atlantis the Palm Resort. Education: BA (Hons) Economics, University of Leicester.

Mr. Samuels can be contacted at 353-1-485-342 or gerry@mttnow.com

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.