Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Profant

Marie Profant

Founder, Tours4Mobile

Always looking for ways technology can solve business issues, Ms. Profant has been a leader of several new system implementations. For the past decade she has been the Founder of Tours4Mobile, a platform for professional contributors, and curation, production, e-commerce, and distribution processes. They offer digital guided tours via their website, Amazon and Nook, and the App Stores. She has led seminar discussions for hotel and other travel industry executives at the Apple Store and at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

It all started in high school, before girls-who-code was a thing. Dad had said, "pay attention to computers, that's the future". So as a part-time geometry tutor, Ms. Profant became the only girl to join the Computer Club. Not wanting to appear a nerd, she stayed home the day of yearbook photos.

Fast forward to her first job; Engineering Planner for the Avionics department which develops advanced systems for fighter jets. Ms. Profant was given her toolset; a calculator, paper forms for a spreadsheet, and a pencil with a big eraser. HA! That led to the confrontation, "Why do only the engineers get PCs? Doesn't the business department qualify?" And a campaign was born. Within a few years she was leading a 30-member team implementation of Cost/Schedule Control systems, and defined the first division-wide business process flow documentation.

Having an opportunity to relocate to Santa Barbara, while at Nexxus Products Company Ms. Profant was responsible for B2B systems including the first nationwide eCommerce system in the hair care industry.

In 2007 Ms. Profant became an entrepreneur, with a goal of enhancing audio tours which leave visualization to anyone's imagination. Adding images to narrated tracks seemed a logical improvement, but it took an industry-wide evolution of video standards before it was possible to provide a cross-platform end-user experience-an obvious goal so that families can tour together. Pairing these guided tour products with travel industry services, has been the B2B focus. While their contract with the cruise industry is paused, the company is offering a multi-faceted marketing program to hotels seeking news strategies during the economic recovery.

Please visit http://www.tours4mobile.com for more information.

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marieprofant/

Ms. Profant can be contacted at +1 805-705-9179 or mprofant@tours4mobile.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Law: Protecting Guest Privacy

Every business is obligated to protect their customers from identity theft but unfortunately, data breaches have become all too common. In an effort to protect a guest's right to privacy and to safeguard their personal data, the European Union passed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that could hold hotels legally liable for any breaches that expose a customer's sensitive personal information. Though the GDPR only pertains to EU citizens' data, any international business that mishandles their data can be legally responsible. Another legal issue of concern is the fight involving hotel "resort fees." Several states attorney generals have recently filed suit against two major hotel chains in an effort to litigate this practice. Their suit alleges that these companies are "engaged in deceptive and misleading pricing practices and their failure to disclose fees is in violation of consumer protection laws." The suit seeks to force the hotel chains to advertise the true price of their hotel rooms. There are several other legal issues that the industry is being forced to address. Sexual harassment prevention in the workplace is still top of mind for hotel employers-particularly in New York and California, which now statutorily require harassment training. Hotels and motels in California will also soon be required to train all their employees on human trafficking awareness. Immigration issues are also of major concern to hotel employers, especially in the midst of a severe labor shortage. The government is issuing fewer H2B visas for low-skilled workers, as well as J-1 visas for temporary workers. Though there is little hope for any comprehensive immigration reform, hotel lobbying groups are actively seeking legal remedies to alleviate this problem. These are just a few of the critical issues that the December issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.