Angelo de Guzman Angelo de Guzman

First Central Hotel Apartments marketing executive Angelo de Guzman picked up the title of Sales/Marketing Manager of the Year at the Hotelier Express Awards 2018.

De Guzman's work on AI in the hotel, increasing the hotel’s email database, working to increase the property’s TripAdvisor’s ranking, and implementing improvements to real-time guest feedback system, all impressed the judges. He also worked on a full revamp of the hotel website, prioritising digital every step of the way.

Speaking to Hotelier Middle East after winning the award, de Guzman said he worked on these initiatives to gain a better understanding of user feedback. He commented: "There is always a big question mark about how people actually feel when they’re in a hotel – because people always give you feedback after they check out. How do you remedy anything [if we don't know what's happening while they are in a hotel?"

During his initiative, he collected real-time feedback and email addresses from thousands of customers over two months, and increased the qualified email database. De Guzman added: "SARAH (the AI system) takes into consideration what happens when you’re in a hotel. After you connect to the network, it’s a simple three-step process asking if you are satisfied and then it gives you an option to ask what you would like to be improved, or if you’d like something in your room."

He stressed the importance of digital in a sales and marketing role, and added: "Digital is trackable, it is something we can look at but it doesn’t mean that whatever we are doing offline should be disregarded."

The award was handed to de Guzman by Duni area manager Marcus Toft, and the highly commended nominee in this category was Miguel Rojas, the senior manager marketing and communications from Rove Hotels (check out the full shortlist here).

The Hotelier Express Awards 2018 took place at the Grosvenor House Dubai on February 28, 2018, and was supported by a range of industry partners including: A. Ronai, Duni, Diversey, Guest Supply, MMI, OSN For Business, and Tint.

Story continues below