Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gelfand

James Gelfand

Director of Sales & Marketing, Turnberry Isle Miami

James Gelfand is Director of Sales & Marketing for Turnberry Isle Miami, with over 30 years of industry experience; he is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of sales for the 408-room resort. As Director of Sales & Marketing he is involved in developing new business opportunities and working directly with all revenue generating departments. He has been instrumental in driving innovative programming and tasked with upholding and enhancing the property's longstanding legacy in southern Florida. Prior to assuming his new role with Turnberry Isle Miami, Mr. Gelfand held the Director of Sales & Marketing position at The Westin Copley Place, where he was influential in the property's transition to becoming part of Starwood Hotels of Boston's Metro Market Sales Force. He guided and directed revenue management and hotel performance at the property to achieve a dramatic increase in sales and stable revenue growth. Mr. Gelfand's 11-year career with Starwood Resorts and Hotels also includes serving as Director of Sales at both The Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla., and The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Fla. He also served as Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Revenue Development at the prestigious PGA National Resort & Spa. During his time at the resort he was the key architect in rebranding and reintroducing the resort to both local and national markets through integrated marketing and advertising initiatives. Mr. Gelfand assisted with creating new sales deployment territories and enhanced sales across multiple facets of the resort. Mr. Gelfand graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in Hotel/Restaurant and Travel Management.

Mr. Gelfand can be contacted at 786-279-6521 or jgelfand@turnberryislemiami.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.