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 February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.