Editorial Board   

Mr. Aurand

Douglas Aurand

President, Douglas Aurand & Associates

Douglas Aurand has had his own multimedia business for 10 years. He produces virtual tours in the two largest markets for Full 360x360 Interactive Images; real estate and hospitality. As digital and virtual tour photographer, Mr. Aurand has photographed thousands of homes for sale and created almost as many real estate virtual tours, posting them to websites such as Realtor.com and ColdwellBanker.com, among others. Drawing on his own experience as a Realtor, he provides added-value tools to his real estate customers that sell the homes they're marketing faster and help them generate more customers, both home buyers and home sellers. A running theme is "Not to keep their Virtual Tour a Secret." In the last five years Mr. Aurand has begun tapping his experience in property level hotel management to expand into the hospitality & tourism market. He shows his hotel customers how to get more value out of their web sites with multimedia like virtual tours and streaming video. His website, VirtualAlbuquerque.com, is not just a multimedia tour of his home town, but also a demonstration tool showing different ways to use Virtual Tours and its a showcase for unique products like his virtual golf course tours and virtual ski area tours. Mr. Aurand has produced virtual tours for Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott, Radisson, Wyndham, Residence Inn and several independent hotels along with various B&Bs.

Mr. Aurand can be contacted at 505-857-2265 or DAurandAssoc@aol.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.