10 Questions for Hotel Marketing Strategies? Publisher, Josiah Mackenzie
A huge thanks to?Guido vanden Elshout?for this enlightening interview with our publisher, Josiah Mackenzie. I?ve worked closely with Josiah for over a year, and ? as our regular readers know ? he isn?t one to grandstand, preferring instead to praise and expound on the achievements of others. So, in the rare occasion that someone?s able to coax out his personal stories, goals and favorite destinations, I can?t help but share them with you all? (Forgive me, J!)
1. Who are you?
I?m a bon vivant passionate about travel, tea, writing, running, technology, hospitality, design, stories, startups, my hometown of San Francisco, my current city of Barcelona, and anything related to innovation and making the world a better place.
My background is in technology and software startups, but I?m working towards eventually opening a hospitality company in the near future. Now I?m taking my technology experience and using it to help forward-thinking people in the hospitality industry deliver better service and experiences to their guests. What I have done, am doing, and will do is the only way I know to blend all my interests.
2. What do you like about what you do?
I love talking with people who are on the front lines of innovation, and hearing about the projects they?re working on. For example, I?ve had some?good conversations?recently with Diego Sartori and Michael Levie of citizenM Hotels ? and they just might be creating the coolest hospitality concept in the world right now. Watching them reinvent every component of a traditional hotel is fascinating: from the modular construction to how they publish a digital lifestyle magazine.
I like ideas, but I love action. I?ve been fortunate to work on interesting projects in very creative organizations, allowing me to continuously test theories and see what actually works.
Now I?m spending most of my time working with a very talented, dedicated, driven team at ReviewPro, lead by CEO?RJ Friedlander. I?ve always enjoyed watching entrepreneurs in action, and RJ is one of the most dynamic executives I?ve met. I work as an industry analyst with them ? watching and reporting on how social technologies are changing the way the travel industry operates. As frequent participant in both the consumer and supplier side of travel, this is an ideal position for me right now.
3. What don?t you like about what you do?
My philosophy is that if you?re doing work you love, you?ll never work a day in your life. That?s definitely true for me. I love what I do, and that makes everything easier.
4. Please tell us all about your blog and your aims with it.
I have a very simple goal: to become the most influential travel technology personality in the world.??To this end, I?m focused on writing stories and case studies of technology in action. Whenever possible, I prefer to highlight what?s working ? instead of pontificating on theory.
I started Hotel Marketing Strategies in the summer of 2008 as just a way to share insights from the projects I was working on. Now, it?s grown to become the leading hotel marketing blog in the world. My rockstar editor?Katie Clapp?and I talk with people shaking up the travel industry, and then profile their work in blog posts and articles.
An example of this is my?recent conversation with James Kinney, who has found live entertainment events to be the single best way for hotels to generate attention on the social web. If you hang out too long in typical social media marketing sites, you are more likely to see another article on ?why you should use Twitter? ? instead of a compelling case study that involves Cedric the Entertainer, Manhattan hotels, and 300% growth in social media activity.
5. What are your top three destination experiences?
Berlin?? I used to live in Berlin, and it remains one of my favorite cities in Europe, if not the world. There?s an energy there that is hard to find elsewhere. I enjoy shopping and dining in the Prenzlauer Berg and Hackescher Markt areas.
Colonia, Uruguay?? This can be done as a day trip from Buenos Aires, but it?s much better to stay overnight. On my first visit here, I rented a bike, got lost, and then found a beautiful, nearly deserted beach that was so unexpected that it felt like paradise. (Getting lost typically leads to the best travel experiences for me.)
Dubai?– Some find Dubai to be artificial, but its hard not to be impressed by how audacious the developers are in this city. I find the architecture inspirational.
If I can add a fourth, it would be?Paris. I?ve visited a handful of times, and lived here briefly in the past, but frankly wasn?t a big fan. But on a trip back there this Spring, I fell in love with the city for some reason for the first time. Paris is the new Paris.
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