Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Bifulco

Ryan Bifulco

Founder & CEO, Travel Spike

Ryan Bifulco is an Internet and travel pioneer with over 15 years of travel and new media experience. An expert on interactive travel, destination marketing, and tourism, Mr. Bifulco has been featured on Business Talk Radio's Travel Show, ABC Radio, NY Times, and USA Today. Mr. Bifulco launched the first ever luxury travel podcast in January of 2006 called journeyPod. He founded and leads Travel Spike, an interactive company offering custom marketing and technology solutions exclusively to the travel sector. Mr. Bifulco and the team at Travel Spike provide digital strategy, dynamic packaging booking engines, and online travel marketing to over 1500 travel clients. He regularly speaks at top industry shows like PhoCusWright, Travel Industry Association, Destination Marketing Association International, and Hospitality Sales and Marketing International. Prior to Travel Spike, Mr. Bifulco was at LastMinuteTravel.com as VP Strategic Alliances and VP Operations. As a member of the AirTran management team, he established and ran the revenue management, pricing, distribution planning, tour, and e-commerce departments. Mr. Bifulco launched airtran.com in 1998 and guided it to become the number one airline website according to Salomon Smith Barney. He worked for US Airways in international revenue management. Mr. Bifulco was promoted three times in three years and was responsible for over $675 million in revenue per year. He received his degree in Economics from Wake Forest University.

Mr. Bifulco can be contacted at 770-433-2930 or info@travelspike.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.