Bobby Bowers is the Senior Vice President of Operations for STR – formerly known as Smith Travel Research. STR is the leading global provider of competitive benchmarking, information services and research to the hotel industry. STR gathers performance data from over 50,000 hotels located in more than 160 countries, and those properties use STR products, such as the STAR Report or Hotel Survey, to benchmark their hotel’s performance versus a competitive set or market segment.
Bobby is a hospitality veteran. He’s been with STR since 95, and he oversees all aspects of STR client and customer service and support sales efforts. He is often the keynote presenter at international, national and regional industry conferences.
Bijal Patel, 31, is CEO of Coast Redwood Hospitality and the youngest chair of the California Hotel & Lodging Association. He’s made even more history at CHLA by agreeing to serve an unprecedented second term as the lodging industry emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. Patel is a third-generation hotelier. Being so steeped in hospitality at such a young age is not new for members of the Indian American hotelier community, but Patel fears the pandemic has drained the industry of emerging talent. Lodging Leaders spotlights Patel, who represents a leadership demographic that is fighting for the life of the hospitality industry as they watch their peers veer toward other career paths.
Many hotels these days have made room for guests with disabilities. Hotel managers and staff should also know what the Americans with Disabilities Act says about accommodating guests with pets. During the pandemic lockdowns, a lot of people added a pet to their household and now they’re bringing Fido along on vacation. Hotel employees need to know how to cater to both consumers who are pet owners as well as guests who travel with a trained service animal. Episode 329 of Lodging Leaders podcast reports on how the ADA defines a service animal and how a hotel is legally obligated to serve a guest who comes with a dog or any other animal.