Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Chomat

Mandy Chomat

Executive VP of Sales & Marketing, Karisma Hotels & Resorts

Armando “Mandy” Chomat joined Karisma Hotels & Resorts in 2007 as the Vice President of Sales & Marketing, where he oversees brand concepts and provides sales and marketing leadership for the collection of luxury properties. With more than 35 years of hospitality sales and marketing experience as a corporate executive, Mr. Chomat brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role. Previously, Mr. Chomat spent 17 years as the Unique Vacations Worldwide Representative for Sandals & Beaches Resorts, where he developed all aspects of the market. Mr. Chomat also served as the president and owner of Trac, a sales, marketing, and development company that focused on consulting corporations looking to expand their business in Latin America. Trac's clients included Alamo Rent-A-Car, Sea World, Air Canada Vacations, and the Jamaica Tourist Board, to name a few. Since joining Karisma Hotels & Resorts, Mr. Chomat has been a key driver of the company's growth and evolution, including welcoming 21 new properties to the Karisma portfolio in less than 10 years, and overseeing the brand's expansion beyond the Riviera Maya, Mexico to Jamaica. Furthermore, Mr. Chomat's innovative ideas have become trends within the industry, the most notable being his creation of the Gourmet Inclusive® Vacation Consultant (GIVC) program, which has become an industry standard for travel agent specialist programs. In less than three years, the GIVC program became so successful that it earned top industry accolades, including Travel Weekly's Gold Magellan Award for best loyalty program for the past five years. Further, the GIVC program has become a fundamental program in the hotel industry, and major hoteliers have implemented similar programs in order to remain competitive.

Mr. Chomat can be contacted at 305-445-1077 or mchomat@karismahotels.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.