Dana Cariss has spent his lifetime making travel his lifestyle.
Dana’s love for travel began early, in the days right out of college, when he dropped everything and gathered up every dollar he had, put some clothes in a backpack and set off on a once in a lifetime trip. He spent nearly a year traveling around Australia, India, Southeast Asia, New Zealand and the south Pacific before returning home. This trip set him onto his lifelong passion of adventure and travel.
In the years following, travel represented itself in many different ways. He learned to rock climb and spent many nights at the base of a mountain scouting routes up a multi-pitch rock face. He has hiked large portions of the John Muir trail in the Sierra Mountains, spending hours staring up into the dark night sky. He has road tripped across the US not once but twice. He has driven nearly the entire Baja California coast in search of great surf, finding many deserted Mexican beaches and sleeping and waking to the sound of pounding surf.
Travel shifted yet again later in life when he met his life partner and wife, and they had two children. Now when coming home from a long work road trip, he finds excitement and joy from planning their next family camping road trip. It is this type of lifelong passion for travel and adventure that suits him so well for CoralTree. He has spent his life, somewhat unknowingly, living the mantra of Travel is Good for Your Soul.
That passion for travel and cultivating relationships is central to his role as CoralTree’s Vice President of Revenue Strategy and Distribution, in which he is responsible for the topline revenues across the entire collection. Dana takes an active role with the property teams to support each in their pricing, rate and inventory management, distribution, channel management, segmentation, and profit analysis. He also takes an active role with the marketing team, working directly to support them with their overall e-commerce and digital media strategies. In addition to the work he does at CoralTree, Dana is very involved with HSMAI (Hospitality Sales Marketing Association International), currently serving on the HSMAI Revenue Optimization board and recently served as chapter President in San Diego.
Dana actually entered the hospitality industry by accident, taking a job as a hotel valet in San Diego ‘to earn some extra cash’. “I loved taking part in the joy and excitement someone has that moment when they step out of their car at a hotel on vacation,” he says. “It was special to be part of that experience.” Dana adds, “and I got to drive a LOT of nice cars.” The young valet was hooked, and a couple years later, he had worked his way to a role as bellman and was on his way to a career in the hotel business.
Starting in guest services at Loews, he joined San Diego’s Handlery Hotel as a revenue manager in 2004. He was recognized early on for his acumen in revenue, leading him to Estancia La Jolla, then a Destination Hotels property, as director of revenue management. He transitioned from a regional position with Destination to regional vice president for Two Roads Hospitality. In 2019, he joined several of his former Two Roads and Destination colleagues to shape CoralTree, serving as vice president of revenue strategy and distribution. He is proud to join with familiar faces of an organization that empowers its team members to create an exceptional culture.