Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. Morikawa

Megan Morikawa

Global Sustainability Office Director, Iberostar Group

Dr. Megan Morikawa is the Global Sustainability Office Director at Iberostar Group where she leads the work that is being done under the company's Wave of Change movement, an initiative based on three complementary but different action lines: eliminating the consumption of single-use plastics, promoting responsible seafood consumption and the improvement of coastal health.

Dr. Morikawa joined Iberostar in early 2018 to work as an advisor for the company's work in coastal health, focusing on leading the on-ground research on coral reef restoration in the Americas. She now leads a strong sustainability team along with Gloria Fluxà, who is part of the company's fourth generation leadership and ownership, in scientific actions for Wave of Change's three pillars and to connect Iberostar Group with the greater scientific community to provide a strong foundation towards the movement's action lines.

Dr. Morikawa received her Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, from Duke University with a personalized major titled Conservation Biology and Genetics: Applied Environmental Sciences, where she was a Robertson and Udall scholar. She received her PhD at the Palumbi Lab at the Stanford Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, where she conducted research on multi-species coral nurseries to see if coral reef restoration can be made ready for climate change using genomic tools to unveil natural diversity in reefs in the Pacific. Dr. Morikawa also studied the impacts of seasonal shifts in coral transcriptomes on the response during bleaching stress. As a postdoc at University of California, Santa Barbara, she worked on testing the feasibility of multi-species and climate resilient coral nurseries in the Caribbean.

Dr. Morikawa is passionate about the science that provides a technical solution to a real-world problem. She is also passionate about communicating that research in creative ways and thinking creatively about solutions and applications.

Please visit http://www.grupoiberostar.com/en for more information.

Dr. Morikawa can be contacted at +1 8553789011170 or Megan.morikawa@iberostar.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.