Editorial Board   

Dr. Hudson

Simon Hudson

Endowed Chair in Tourism & Hospitality, University of South Carolina

Simon Hudson is a tourism aficionado, exploring the world, spreading his passion for travel, and enlightening audiences on every kind of travel research from winter sports to film tourism. He has written eight books, and over 60 research articles, many of them focused on tourism marketing.

Dr. Hudson is the Endowed Chair for the SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development at the University of South Carolina. An impressive title, but it basically means he researches ways to put South Carolina's tourism industry back on the map and into the black. With an eclectic background in the ski industry, retail, and British and Canadian academia, Dr. Hudson is a fount of international experience, amusing anecdotes, and comprehensive business information.

Dr. Hudson gets his cosmopolitan and creative ideas from a background at the University of Calgary, Canada, University of Brighton, England, visiting positions in Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia, and two voyages teaching on Semester at Sea. What a great job!

Dr. Hudson can be contacted at 803-777-2705 or shudson@hrsm.sc.edu

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.