December 21, 2021

Tisch Center of Hospitality’s Vanja Bogicevic Provides Insights Into the Development of the Hospitality Innovation Hub Experiential Learning Lab

Vanja Bogicevic, PhD, a clinical assistant professor at the NYU SPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, has played a key role in developing the Experiential Learning Lab within the Center’s new Hospitality Innovation Hub (HI Hub) for applied learning, entrepreneurship, and industry engagement. Her research explores the role of design, service technologies, and virtual reality marketing on hospitality and tourism customers, and has been featured in peer-reviewed journals, including in Tourism Management, the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, and the Journal of Business Research. She serves on the editorial board of the Psychology and Marketing Journal.

What is the HI Hub Experiential Learning Lab?
The Experiential Learning Lab is a center for applied learning enabled by technology. It is a flexible classroom space equipped with the latest technology for streaming live content through touchscreen smartboard monitors. Students are trained in the real-world hospitality platforms they will encounter when they leave the Tisch Center.

What is your role in the development of the Experiential Learning Lab?
As the director of the HI Hub Experiential Learning Lab, my role is to create and manage partnerships with technology developers of hospitality management software, the majority of which is cloud-based. Our inaugural partnership is with StayNtouch, a guest-centric property management systems (PMS) developer whose platform aims to streamline hotel front desk operations and deliver contactless check-in experiences. StayNtouch provided the technology for use in the Lab so that our students can test the platform and gain first-hand experience in running a tech-forward hotel. Our graduate students are collaborating with the company on a project to re-envision the future of contactless tech in a rapidly changing travel landscape. We signed a second partnership with RateGain, a leading revenue maximization platform that provides price intelligence and channel distribution management services to hotels and travel companies. Our goal is to develop between three to six partnerships each year.

Why is technology so critical to the education of our students?
With the dramatic disruptions to the workforce, the hospitality sector has to address labor shortages, and to prepare the workforce for careers in hospitality beyond traditional service operations. As technology becomes more prevalent, our students need exposure to different skills so that they can stand out in the job market. They need to understand and evaluate key technologies, and innovate new technology solutions.

What are other projects you are working on?
I am working on a research project with the Boston Consulting Group on the future of the workforce in the industry seeking to identify the most effective strategic solutions for current labor challenges, including issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Next June, this continuing research will be presented at the annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference.

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