HotelPlanner has been around for 17 years helping organizations book group travel. Bruce Rosenberg, the company’s president of the Americas and chief operating officer, has been part of that leadership team since 2012 after a career in hospitality that included 13 years with Hilton Hotels. As the travel industry has tried to get back on its feet after a devastating 2020, one area that already is standing out is sports-related travel. Especially at the amateur level, destinations and hotels are seeing steady business in group hotel stays from traveling teams and the expectation in 2021 is that sports will continue to be a bright spot for the industry.
HotelPlanner is certainly banking on that business. In recent weeks, the company has signed partnerships at the professional level with Harris Blitzer, owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center in Newark, but also with USA Pickleball, the USL soccer league and a promotional deal with American tennis player John Isner, all of which are based on the notion that fans of those sports will soon be returning to travel if they haven’t already. And their work isn’t just limited to traditional sports. A recent deal with Immortals Gaming Club shows evidence that HotelPlanner sees a bright future in esports-related travel as well. In this episode with SportsTravel Editor and Publisher Jason Gewirtz, learn why Rosenberg and HotelPlanner are so bullish on the role sports-related travel will play in the industry’s recovery.
Topics included in this episode:
- History of HotelPlanner and the company’s scope (3:24)
- Context on the challenges the travel industry faced in 2020 (4:30)
- How group bookings are looking so far in 2021 (5:59)
- How sports have fared compared with other group travel markets (8:16)
- Thoughts on the travel industry for the rest of 2021 (9:27)
- Why HotelPlanner partnered with Harris Blitzer (11:07)
- How USA Pickleball became one of the company’s accounts (14:36)
- A new promotional deal for fans of tennis player John Isner (15:40)
- Thoughts on how esports events will attract traveling fans (17:41)
- With the Olympics on the horizon, the company’s plans in Asia (20:46)
- Attending the Super Bowl and the fan experience there (23:06)