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 January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.