Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Watkins

Jane Watkins

President, Watkins Public Relations

Jane Watkins, a native of the Caribbean island of St. Croix, was raised understanding the value of water. With only a cistern to provide water to the household, water conservation was critical because if the cistern was empty - you would be out of water until the next rainfall. Upon moving to the continental USA, Ms. Watkins was horrified to see people watering their grass. Having lived in Florida for the past ten years, where watering the lawn seems to be a daily ritual with most homeowners, Ms. Watkins still refuses. “I am working on eliminating as much grass as possible in my yard by planting drought resistant natives and pollinator attracting plants.” Having worked at resorts and boat charters since a teen, it is no surprise Watkins, a marketing communications specialist, focuses on the hospitality industry. A graduate of Florida State University, she has built a track record in integrated marketing communications including launches, events, promotions, sponsorships, media relations, collateral, and advertising. Her vertical marketing experience includes food and beverage, movies, retail, travel and tourism, art, and youth marketing. She has represented hotels and destinations worldwide. Ms. Watkins has managed marketing efforts for Atlanta Pride, Glory Foods as well as national accounts. She is a volunteer for the St. Croix Foundation, the Center for Great Apes and select non-profits. In 2011, she produced the cookbook for her client, the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience, to benefit the St. Croix Foundation, a non-profit serving the US Virgin Islands.

Ms. Watkins can be contacted at 305-235-8575 or jane@watkinspr.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.