Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Withiam

Glenn Withiam

Executive Edtor, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Cornell University

Glenn Withiam is a graduate of Cornell University, and is executive editor of the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (CQ) as well as director of publications for the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). In addition to producing the CQ and numerous reports, Mr. Withiam has edited books on hotel management contracts, internal control, hospitality training, quality service, and the forthcoming Cornell School of Hotel Administration on Hospitality: Cutting Edge Thinking and Practice, published by John Wiley and Sons.

Mr. Withiam can be contacted at 607-255-3025 or grw4@cornell.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.