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 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.