Editorial Board   

Dr. Hudson

Simon Hudson

Endowed Chair in Tourism & Hospitality, University of South Carolina

Simon Hudson is a tourism aficionado, exploring the world, spreading his passion for travel, and enlightening audiences on every kind of travel research from winter sports to film tourism. He has written eight books, and over 60 research articles, many of them focused on tourism marketing.

Dr. Hudson is the Endowed Chair for the SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development at the University of South Carolina. An impressive title, but it basically means he researches ways to put South Carolina's tourism industry back on the map and into the black. With an eclectic background in the ski industry, retail, and British and Canadian academia, Dr. Hudson is a fount of international experience, amusing anecdotes, and comprehensive business information.

Dr. Hudson gets his cosmopolitan and creative ideas from a background at the University of Calgary, Canada, University of Brighton, England, visiting positions in Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia, and two voyages teaching on Semester at Sea. What a great job!

Dr. Hudson can be contacted at 803-777-2705 or shudson@hrsm.sc.edu

Coming up in June 2020...

Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.