Editorial Board   

Mr. Ellis

Bernard Ellis

President & Founder, Lodgital Insights LLC

Bernard Ellis has a track record of stewarding technology initiatives from industry startup to industry standard.   He has spent most of his career at early- and mid-stage startups bringing best-of-breed, point solutions to market, including executive roles with Micros, now part of Oracle, SynXis, now part of Sabre, and IDeaS, now part of SAS, and contract roles with d2o and Gemtouch. The remainder of it has been spent at the large enterprise software companies who acquire them, SAS as mentioned, and most recently, as VP of Industry Strategy - Hospitality for Infor.

With executive roles that have followed a rare alternating path between sales and product management, Mr. Ellis has been evangelizing Software as a Service for nearly twenty years.  He has developed strong expertise in practically every type of hospitality technology, with special depth in property management systems, central reservations, revenue management, sales force automation, and activity merchandising.  Along the way, he has earned trusted advisor status with hotel companies that span all sizes and levels of service, including Carlson, Sonesta, Four Seasons, IHG, Kimpton, Rosewood, Wyndham, and Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

This remarkably broad background gives him a keen understanding of the points of view that different stakeholders bring to any discussion, not just regarding system selection or potential mergers and acquisitions, but also regarding such issues as integration development priorities, or who makes the best partner or target customer. Mr. Ellis is probably most widely recognized for advancing the industry with his oral and written communication skills, that enable non-technical audiences to grasp the value of technical innovations, and non-hospitality audiences to appreciate the industry's nuances.  His passion for the industry brings dry subject matter to life, not to mention (and some might advise exactly that) his natural tendency to seek out appropriate opportunities for humor or the perfect pun.

Mr. Ellis recently founded Lodgital Insights LLC, a consultancy to serve those companies that are leading the digital transformation of hospitality and leisure.  These include 1) travel technology vendors, 2) industry allies and promoters such as hotel brands, industry associations, destination marketing organizations, OTAs, and other consultancies, and finally 3) owners and operators of hospitality enterprises.  Lodgital's mission is to help people become better buyers and sellers of hospitality technology, leading to an accelerated pace of innovation for the industry and its guests.

Mr. Ellis is a Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP), as designated by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), and a Certified Revenue Management Executive (CRME), as designated by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), for whom he has also served as a member of the Revenue Management Advisory Board and past President of the Metropolitan Washington, DC Chapter.  He received a Master of Professional Studies (now MMH) degree from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary. Based in Washington, DC, Mr. Ellis is a dual-citizen of the United States and Canada.

Please visit http://lodgital.com for more information.

Mr. Ellis can be contacted at 202-232-3839 or bernard.ellis@lodgital.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.