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 June 2020...

Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.