Editorial Board   

Mr. Benton

David Benton

Vice President and General Manager, The Rittenhouse Hotel

David G. Benton, recognized as one of the hospitality industry's most innovative and visionary leaders, serves as the vice president and general manager of The Rittenhouse Hotel and Condominium Residences, and serves as a board member of many prestigious organizations including the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, The Restaurant School, the Boy Scouts Cradle of Liberty Council and the Hero Scholarship Fund. He is presently vice president of the Philadelphia Art Alliance; and in the past has served on the International Visitors Council and the Arts & Business Council. Previously, Mr. Benton served as the general manager of Denver Place, a 335-suite hotel which included 193 luxury apartments, 2 1/2 million square feet of office space, and 100,000 square feet of retail space in downtown Denver, Colorado. Prior to his time in Colorado, Mr. Benton was the Corporate Director of Food & Beverage for Fiesta American Hotels located in Mexico City, Mexico. In 1989, Mr. Benton became the vice president and general manager of The Rittenhouse Hotel, a 98-room luxury boutique hotel overlooking Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. A member of Leading Small Hotels of the World, The Rittenhouse Hotel is recognized as one of the world^aEURTMs foremost luxury boutique hotels and has received numerous awards by top travel and hospitality organizations and publications. These awards include the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award since 1991, and the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences Five Star Diamond Award. In addition, Esquire Magazine named the Hotel^aEURTMs renowned restaurant Lacroix at The Rittenhouse "Restaurant of the Year" in 2003, The Rittenhouse Hotel has been voted as one of the "best places to stay in the world" by Cond~A(c) Nast Traveler, Departures magazine named The Rittenhouse as the sixth best boutique hotel in North America and the Official Hotel Guide named The Rittenhouse the only Philadelphia hotel among its list of 101 Superior Deluxe Hotels worldwide in 2002. David Benton has been recognized as a highly focused innovative business leader with strong entrepreneurial, consumer visionary skills, particularly in corporate restructuring and rapidly changing business situations within the travel and hospitality industry. Born and raised in London, England, Mr. Benton is a graduate of the Cornell Hotel School of Administration in Ithaca, New York. He is married with two children.

Mr. Benton can be contacted at 215-790-2527 or dbenton@rittenhousehotel.com

Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. 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.