Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Poling

Monica Poling

Online Editor, TravelAge West

Monica Poling is the online editor at TravelAge West, a leading B2B travel trade publication distributed to retail travel agents throughout the Western United States. She is also edits TravelGlitter.com, a website promoting the importance of community, culture and sustainability in travel. Additionally she provides marketing and social media advice at MonicaPoling.com. Ms. Poling has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years, and in addition to her writing portfolio, she consults for tourism boards, hotels and tour operators on such issues as online promotions and social engagement. Ms. Poling's recent speaking engagements have included the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show, the Home Based Travel Agent Forum, the Outside Sales Support Network (OSSN), and the Travel & Tourism Marketing Association (TTMA). Her work at TravelAge West magazine has won numerous awards, including “Top 25 Feature Articles of the Year” by the Trade, Associations and Business Publications International organization and a Bronze Award from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. She has also been published in Bespoke magazine (St. Regis Hotels), Montage magazine, and Preferred Lifestyles. Ms. Poling received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of California at Riverside, while also pursuing a minor in English.

Ms. Poling can be contacted at 323-466-7019 or editor@travelglitter.com

Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. 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.