Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Aluri

Ajay Aluri

Founding Director, Hospitality Innovation and Technology (HIT) Lab

Dr. Ajay Aluri is the Founding Director of the Hospitality Innovation and Technology (HIT) Lab, and an Associate Professor at the John Chambers College of Business and Economics, West Virginia University. Dr. Aluri's academic and research expertise combines all areas of his education, research interests, and focus in the areas of hospitality information technology and management and information systems. His career has focused on how these areas impact international hospitality organizations, society, and education.

He is an internationally recognized scholar who has centered in on innovation and technology in the hospitality and tourism industry. He is currently concentrating on consumer behavior research about the use of emerging technologies such as augmented reality, datamining, Internet of Sound, Internet of Things, robotics, and virtual reality. His research has been published in several top academic journals and industry outlets.

Dr. Aluri also serves in the editorial board of top and cutting-edge hospitality and tourism journals. He initiated the HIT Lab at WVU, a platform to bridge the gaps between academic and industry research. Dr. Aluri has been invited to speak at several international and national shows and conferences. Dr. Aluri received the "Outstanding Paper of the Year" award from the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research in 2018, and the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education in 2016.

He played a vital role in developing the Hospitality and Tourism Management program in the John Chambers College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University. Dr. Aluri is a recipient of numerous awards from international, national, and state-level organizations from academia and industry.

Please visit http://www.wvu.edu for more information.

Mr. Aluri can be contacted at +1 304-293-1048 or ajaluri@mail.wvu.edu

Coming up in April 2020...

Guest Service: First Impressions Matter

Hotels spend large amounts of money on marketing their operation and brand, but sometimes they fail to remember that guest service is the lifeblood of their business. It is outstanding guest service that allows a hotel to create an amazing and lasting impression, one that will remain with guests far beyond the duration of their stay. In pre-internet days, first impressions were formed the moment a guest walked through a hotel's front door. These days, first impressions are created long before a guest arrives at a hotel property. They begin when a customer visits a hotel's website or social media pages for the first time. When a guest connects with a property online, they immediately form an opinion of the hotel. First impressions matter and because of that, a hotel website should be mobile-friendly with blistering fast speed; it should be graphically appealing; and it should provide visual representation of the kind of experience a guest can expect. It is also vital to engage the customer; to actively solicit and respond to guest feedback. When a hotel personally engages with someone, it is demonstrating to other customers that guest opinions matter, and that management is willing to go the extra mile to provide superior guest service. Similarly, when a hotel sends out personalized emails with satisfaction surveys attached, it demonstrates that management values guest feedback, so that service can be improved at every level. Additionally, social media messages can be sent out prior to a guest's arrival to learn more about them, so their visit can be personalized. It's the small touches and details that are most remembered and appreciated. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate excellent guest service in their operations.