Editorial Board   

Ms. Bhattacharyya

Rani Bhattacharyya

Community Economics Extension Educator , University of Minnesota Extension- Center for Community Vitality

Rani Bhattacharyya serves as the Community Economics Educator in northwest Minnesota by supporting communities located in the counties of Beltrami, Clearwater, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau in the discovery and implementation of development opportunities. Through her work Ms. Bhattacharyya is also studying how company and community performance benchmarking can be integrated into long-term city, and community development planning processes. Ms. Bhattacharyya has facilitated local business-government partnerships and public consensus building activities concerning sustainable tourism planning and hospitality management in the U.S. and internationally. Past projects have included comparative studies in environmental certification programs for hotels and communities at Green Seal, Inc., a 25 county agri-tourism industry study for Western Illinois, marketing surveys for sustainable tourism destinations in Asia, and facilitation of sustainable destination development in the southern border region of Bulgaria. Ms. Bhattacharyya completed her MS graduate degree in the Peace Corps Fellows Program in Community Development at Western Illinois University, where her studies focused on the integration of sustainable tourism destination management and marketing with local economic development programs.

Ms. Bhattacharyya can be contacted at 218-275-3444 or rani.a.bhattacharyya@gmail.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.