Editorial Board   

Ms. Anya Nara

Rita Anya Nara

Author, The Anxious Traveler

Rita Anya Nara is the author of The Anxious Traveler: How to Overcome Your Fear to Travel the World (2013). She has been recognized by The Chicago Tribune, ABC Online, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business News, The Good Day Sacramento Show, The AAA Show, The Kathryn Zox Show, World Travelers of America, Bankrate, Inc., RadioMD, and Travel Industry Today as an expert in recognizing the psychological challenges facing travelers, and how to successfully manage them. Ms. Nara personally overcame the limitations of panic disorder and social anxiety to travel to over 40 countries around the world, for both business and leisure, and specializes in empowering prospective tourists and business travelers to trade their armchairs for suitcases. Through her outreach to her readers and blog followers, she is increasingly aware of the number of people around the country -- and the world -- who have the money and time to travel, but lack the confidence to begin their journey. She provides valuable insight to industry specialists on what specific fears are holding pack potential customers -- fears that go far beyond concerns about terrorism or flying. With her help, this previously untapped market is making the ultimate journey: from daydreamer to traveler. Ms. Nara received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis in 2000, and resides outside the Bay Area when not traveling.

Ms. Anya Nara can be contacted at 916-721-6457 or ritaanyanara@gmail.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.