Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Santora

Tom Santora

Chief Marketing Officer / Senior VP Sales, Omni Hotels & Resorts

Tom Santora is chief marketing officer and senior vice president of sales for Omni Hotels & Resorts where he oversees growth initiatives for the award-winning luxury hotel brand. Through his leadership, broad knowledge base and excellent hotel expertise, Omni Hotels & Resorts has become a recognizable brand nationwide. In his position, he is responsible for establishing and driving a strategic plan across all disciplines, including advertising, public relations, e-commerce, customer loyalty, global sales, revenue management and electronic and call center distribution. Mr. Santora has more than 25 years of experience in the hotel industry. Prior to joining Omni in 2008, he was executive vice president of sales and marketing at Viceroy Hotel Group, where he built the sales and marketing organization from the ground up and established the growth initiatives for the company's two iconic boutique brands, Viceroy and The Tides. During his tenure at Viceroy Hotel Group, he expanded the companies' sales and marketing team to include e-commerce, public relations and national sales and supervised the development and integration of the company's central reservations office. As director of marketing for the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, Mr. Santora focused on positioning the hotel as a major destination for individual and business travelers. He opened the flagship Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in the fall of 2001 and managed cooperative planning, sales and marketing for six other regional Renaissance properties. He also established centralized group sales centers in the west and facilitated national sales schools. Prior to joining Viceroy Hotel Group, Mr. Santora served in various sales and marketing positions during his 16 years with Marriott International. He joined the company as a food and beverage trainee at the Marriott's Mark Resort in Vail, Colorado and transitioned into the sales discipline in 1990 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Century City. Mr. Santora was included as “One of the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing” by Hospitality Sales & Marketing International (HSMAI) for 2008.

Mr. Santora can be contacted at 972-871-5625 or tsantora@omnihotels.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.