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 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.