Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Wells

Dawn Wells

General Manager, Fairfield Inn & Suites Charleston North

Dawn Wells is the General Manager of the 102-room Fairfield Inn & Suites Charleston North in Charleston, South Carolina. The hotel is managed by Hotel Equities, an Atlanta-based, full-scale hotel management, development and consulting firm. Ms. Wells also serves as a Lead General Manager for the firm. She is active in the Charleston Business Council. As General Manager, Ms. Wells holds responsibility for overseeing all financial and management operations of the hotel, including hiring the employees, setting and meeting budget goals and representing the company in the community. Tapped as a Lead General Manager because of her outstanding performance, Ms. Wells provides leadership, direction and results in revenue, profit and quality to the group of properties assigned to her. Instrumental in scouting talent and developing leaders within Hotel Equities, Ms. Wells assists with the firm's Management Development Program (MDP). Recently, she mentored four individuals and helped each one research, execute and evaluate a final project to utilize what they had learned through the MDP and add value to his or her hotel. Ms. Wells started her hospitality career by joining John Q. Hammons Hotels after graduating from Johnson & Wales University. To gain additional experience, Ms. Wells moved with JQH hotels to Concord, North Carolina as Front Office/Reservations Manager at the Embassy Suites Concord-Golf Resort & Spa. The firm promoted her to Sales/Catering Manager where she served for more than a year before returning to Charleston with a promotion to General Manager of the Residence Inn by Marriott in Charleston. Ms. Wells held that post for three years before moving to her current position at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Charleston North. She joined Hotel Equities in 2012 when the firm took over management of her hotel. Ms. Wells holds an Associate Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management from Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina and a Certificate in Hospitality Leadership Development from the School of Business, College of Charleston.

Ms. Wells can be contacted at 866-576-5693 or dawn.wells@marriott.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.