Hotels Forced To Go The Extra Mile for Group Business

By On 19th June 2013

Phoenix, June 18th, 2013

Hotel companies are being forced to go the extra mile for Group business, as demand remains sluggish in 2013. This was the message from Julie Reigle, Principle for Horwath HTL USA and a recognized industry expert on Sales Marketing and E-Commerce. Julie was speaking during this years NYU hospitality conference in New York.  Horwath HTL, The world’s oldest and largest hospitality consulting network were sponsors the conference and appearing on a panel on Demand Generators moderated by Jeff Weinstein, editor of Hotels magazine.

Even though forward bookings presented by TravelCLICK indicated that group business was looking better for 2014, 2013 remains soft, putting group bookers in a strong position to negotiate good deals and squeeze concessions from hotels.

Julie Reigle said, “This downturn has shown that group business in hotels has been the one market segment that has been slow to come back. FIT business has really been taking up the slack, and even though the vagaries of how groups book and inaccurate ways that hotels register bookings might be responsible for some of the loss, its still really a lack of corporate conference that is holding the business back. For hotels with deep pockets, other ways of driving demand such as really exceptional events and USP’s might be brought into play, but for the majority of businesses doing more with less which means leveraging social media and other technologies to punch above their weight is absolutely key.”

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Paul Breslin

Paul Breslin, Managing Partner of Panther Hospitality, is a 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry. His background within the industry is all encompassing, as he has extensive experience in hotel operations, development and asset management with major branded hotels as well as independent and smaller luxury hotels. After his experience of working with eleven different hotels and resorts in ten different cities over the years, Mr. Breslin founded Panther Hospitality in 2005 to provide consulting services to developers and hoteliers in all aspects of their businesses. From property acquisition and infrastructure development to the successful opening and operating of a hotel, Mr. Breslin and his team of industry professionals leverage their expertise and customize their services to meet the needs of their global client base. He and his team have successfully consulted on a variety of establishments within the industry, including boutique hotels, both limited and full-service hotels, as well as luxury hotels. Major brands such as Hilton, Marriott, Starwood, IHG and Hyatt have worked with Panther Hospitality, as well as independent resort hotels such as the Inn on Destin Harbor, Daytona Beach Resort & Conference Center, Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club and Barnsley Gardens Resort. Previous to founding Panther Hospitality, Mr. Breslin held positions at the world-famous Fontainebleau Hilton Resort and Spa, the Sheraton San Diego Resort, the Sheraton New Orleans and three convention hotels in Atlanta, Georgia. He became a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), which is the most prestigious hospitality certification available to a hotel general manager and hospitality executive. Mr. Breslin, who is qualified as a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), is also a respected and well-known teacher and leader within the industry. He is the Executive-in-Residence in Lodging in the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University. The GSU program was recently ranked as one of the top 25 hospitality programs in the nation according to the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education. He has trained senior level executives at the Rixos Hotel Leadership Training Program through Sabanci University in Turkey and is a frequent lecturer at national conventions and hospitality industry conferences throughout the United States. Mr. Breslin has also been quoted on hospitality issues in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Miami Herald. He has also appeared on the Clark Howard Show. In addition to his work as a consultant and educator, Mr. Breslin provides hotel expert witness services to attorneys specializing in litigation, bankruptcy, real estate, franchising, employment and personal injury cases related to the hospitality industry. His caseload as an expert witness over the years includes work with both plaintiffs and defendants.
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