Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Fawell

Richard Fawell

Design & Managing Principal, VOA Associates Incorporated

Rick Fawell, AIA, NCARB, IIDA, is currently Design and Managing Principal of the two VOA offices in China and has been designing and planning Hotel, Resort and Residential projects over the past 35 years across the United States and currently in China and Southeast Asia. Mr. Fawell has studied, worked and lived in Paris, France and Helsinki, Finland as well as Boston and Chicago in the United States and since 2009 has resided in Beijing. The Beijing and Shanghai offices of VOA are responsible not only for the hospitality work in China but also currently in South Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia. VOA is also in the midst of large resort master-planning projects throughout Asia. Mr. Fawell has been with VOA as a Principal for the past 19 years, the past seven years predominantly in Asia. VOA is currently in various stages of design and construction on new luxury hotels, residential projects, and resorts throughout China and the rest of Asia.

Mr. Fawell can be contacted at 312-453-7554 or rfawell@voa.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.