Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Santora

Tom Santora

Chief Marketing Officer / Senior VP Sales, Omni Hotels & Resorts

Tom Santora is chief marketing officer and senior vice president of sales for Omni Hotels & Resorts where he oversees growth initiatives for the award-winning luxury hotel brand. Through his leadership, broad knowledge base and excellent hotel expertise, Omni Hotels & Resorts has become a recognizable brand nationwide. In his position, he is responsible for establishing and driving a strategic plan across all disciplines, including advertising, public relations, e-commerce, customer loyalty, global sales, revenue management and electronic and call center distribution. Mr. Santora has more than 25 years of experience in the hotel industry. Prior to joining Omni in 2008, he was executive vice president of sales and marketing at Viceroy Hotel Group, where he built the sales and marketing organization from the ground up and established the growth initiatives for the company's two iconic boutique brands, Viceroy and The Tides. During his tenure at Viceroy Hotel Group, he expanded the companies' sales and marketing team to include e-commerce, public relations and national sales and supervised the development and integration of the company's central reservations office. As director of marketing for the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, Mr. Santora focused on positioning the hotel as a major destination for individual and business travelers. He opened the flagship Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in the fall of 2001 and managed cooperative planning, sales and marketing for six other regional Renaissance properties. He also established centralized group sales centers in the west and facilitated national sales schools. Prior to joining Viceroy Hotel Group, Mr. Santora served in various sales and marketing positions during his 16 years with Marriott International. He joined the company as a food and beverage trainee at the Marriott's Mark Resort in Vail, Colorado and transitioned into the sales discipline in 1990 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Century City. Mr. Santora was included as “One of the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing” by Hospitality Sales & Marketing International (HSMAI) for 2008.

Mr. Santora can be contacted at 972-871-5625 or tsantora@omnihotels.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.