Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Maher

Melissa Maher

Senior Vice President - Global Partner Group, Expedia, Inc

As the leader of the Global Partner Group for Expedia, Inc., Melissa Maher spearheads all aspects of global business relationships with the company's top hotel partners.  Ms. Maher has taken an active role in driving significant discussions within the hospitality industry regarding issues affecting lodging supply partners and key stakeholders in the online travel space.

Ms. Maher oversees the teams responsible for creating new initiatives, driving the strategy behind negotiations, distribution, and connectivity for Expedia's chains, key accounts, and independent partnerships. She also leads Expedia's gaming lodging supply division.

As part of her role, Ms. Maher also manages the Global Partner Marketing team which strives to enhance relationships with key partners including large and regional brands, connectivity providers, ownership groups, management companies, and industry associations, along with executing marketing communications and global partner events.

During her tenure with Expedia, Ms. Maher has been passionate in driving meaningful dialogue about women in leadership within the company and hospitality industry.

Previously, Ms. Maher served as regional director with Expedia, with oversight of the Nevada/gaming lodging division. Prior to joining Expedia in 2001, Maher opened the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas as the director of conference center sales. She also served as director of tour and conference sales with the Las Vegas Hilton.

Ms. Maher received an M.B.A. and a B.S. in hotel administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Ms. Maher can be contacted at 702-938-2347 or MMaher@expedia.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.