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 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.