Mr. Walsh

Richard Walsh

Vice President of Business Development

Lodging Interactive

Richard Walsh graduated from Western Michigan University with his BA in English. He has completed some Masters studies at the University of Miami and Yale University. Mr. Walsh has spent a long and productive career working in sales and/or marketing for travel companies such as Trans World Airlines, Air France, Reed International and The Official Airline Guide.

Previously, Mr. Walsh was President of Amadeus USA (a global distribution system), Wizcom (technology division of Avis Auto Rental) and founder and president of Innovata (travel content aggregator). Richard was the founder of CASMA, the Computerized Airline Sales & Marketing Association a global association of airlines and related marketing services.

Mr. Walsh is currently the Vice President of Business Development for Lodging Interactive, a leading hospitality Internet and social media marketing agency. He lives in the Atlanta GA area and enjoys local sports teams, tennis, skiing and researching local historical sites.

Mr. Walsh can be contacted at 770-533-9787 or rjwalsh@lodginginteractive.com

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. 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.