Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Storey

Thomas W. Storey

President of Hospitality, SONIFI Solutions

Thomas (Tom) W. Storey is President of Hospitality for SONIFI Solutions and is responsible for leading all of the Company's hospitality related strategic initiatives and operational activities. Mr. Storey is a seasoned hotelier with an extensive hospitality background based on almost 30 years in the industry. Most recently he served as Executive Vice President Business Strategy for Fairmont Raffles Hotels International (FRHI), a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels worldwide under the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel brands. He was instrumental in the development of FRHI and he helped steer the business through an important period of growth during his recent tenure as President of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Other companies and brands for which he has worked include Marriott Hotels, Carlson Companies, Promus Hotels Corporation and Doubletree Hotels. Through various senior management roles, Mr. Storey has made significant contributions in the areas of business development, strategic planning, hotel technology and sales and marketing. As a testament to his contributions, Mr. Storey has been honored with numerous awards and acknowledgements which include being named to the list of The Top 25 Industry Leaders for Business Travel News and Travel Agent magazine as well as appearing on the Marketing 100 list as awarded by Advertising Age magazine. As a leading voice within the hospitality industry, he has also been a member of various organizations including the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and the Travel Industry Association of America (TIAA). Mr. Storey holds a Master's of Business Administration degree from the Johnson School at Cornell University and a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Bates College.

Mr. Storey can be contacted at 605-988-1510 or publicrelations@sonifi.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.