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 February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.