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 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.