Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Barnes

Karyl Leigh Barnes

Executive Vice President & Partner, Development Counsellors International

Karyl Leigh Barnes is the managing partner of the Tourism Practice at Development Counsellors International (DCI), leading destination marketing campaigns from offices in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, Canada. Founded in 1960, DCI has worked with more than 450 countries, regions, states and cities to drive investment and tourism leads. Since joining DCI in 1998 from a New York State destination marketing organization, Ms. Barnes has led destination strategy and campaign implementation for destinations on every continent except Antarctica. DCI's Tourism Practice has been recognized recently for its campaign to introduce Namibia to North American travelers, which garnered a Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Platinum Award in 2014, and its work to promote surf culture in Huntington Beach, California, through its “Guinness World Record Surf Board Activation” which was named a HSMAI Platinum Award winner and “Best In Show” in 2015. The campaigns she designs with her colleagues not only win awards, but increase visitor arrivals and spending to destinations. This helps to create jobs in local communities and improve the quality of life for residents living there. Karyl Leigh is often asked to speak on leisure tourism and meetings industry trends and has been featured at conference by IACC, International Congress and Conference Association (ICCA), IMEX America, IMEX Frankfurt, North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA), Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC), and numerous Governor's tourism conferences and tourism summits. She lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and newborn son.

Ms. Barnes can be contacted at 212-444-7123 or karyl.barnes@aboutdci.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.