Max Starkov is a hospitality digital strategy, technology and marketing executive, consultant and expert with 30 plus years of industry experience. Max has spent his entire professional career in hospitality and online travel, focusing on hotel digital strategy, technology and marketing. Max has consulted hundreds of major hotel chains, boutique and luxury hotel brands, independent hotels, resorts and casinos on their digital technology and marketing strategies. Until recently, Max was the Founder and Board Director, President & CEO at NextGuest (NextGuest.com), a 150-employee hotel digital strategy, technology and marketing consulting and services firm, headquartered in New York City with global offices in Europe and Asia Pacific. Before NextGuest, Max founded and served as CEO of two Internet travel startups: Travelbreak.com 1995-1999 (direct supplier-to-consumer online travel marketplace), WhaleMedia.com 1999-2001(Winner of Microsoft's Global RAD Award for hotel online booking systems).
As an online travel expert consultant with the major expert knowledge networks, Max has consulted hundreds of Wall Street analysts and investment bankers on the online travel marketplace, hospitality industry technology and marketing, online distribution strategies, etc. Max is a published author of hundreds of articles, opinion articles, white papers and best practices guides and is recognized "thought leader" in digital technology and marketing strategies in hospitality and travel. Max is the recipient of the hospitality industry’s most prestigious award, the HSMAI “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing” and served on the HSMAI Digital Marketing Council, the highest hotel digital marketing authority in the country, commissioned to monitor and educate HSMAI members about the emerging trends and innovations happening in hotel digital marketing universe.
Since 2001 Max has been an adjunct professor, graduate and undergraduate courses, on hospitality technology, online distribution, digital marketing and CRM at New York University's Tisch Center for Hospitality Studies. Some of the courses include:
- Hospitality Technology
CRM in hospitality
Online Distribution in Hospitality and Tourism
Digital Marketing in Hospitality and Tourism
Digital Marketing for DMOs (Destination Marketing Organizations), etc.
Max has an MS in Economics of International Tourism & Hospitality, Sofia University and an MBA in E-Commerce degree, Beta Gamma Sigma Honors, from Fordham University in New York.