Remarkable news comes from the Marriott Group as they reopen their 350 properties across China. The group reported that business travel is returning with successful reopenings leading to almost 40% occupancy rate, the BBC mentions in their article.
As we near the end of 2020 we can observe severe divergence from what was being anticipated. US hospitality businesses are now faced with a new challenge with increased implementation of coronavirus safety rules to curb infections.
Hotel and resort owners are now revisiting their entire guest experiences looking for strategic areas that must be automated and remove human interactions. The great news is that currently there is an array of hospitality solutions to elevate the guest technology experience without much human assistance.
Since the induction of the smart phone as a mini computer, there are few endeavors that cant be achieved through Bluetooth and high speed internet. From highly innovative branded mobile apps to complex hotel management systems, everything can now be managed through cloud based mobile applications.
Establishing this technology as a mainstream hospitality solution was increasingly becoming popular at the close of 2019. Guests can now personalize their entire experience without the need to interact with a single staff member, with someone always available for them through live chat services.
Another basic but critical technology prerequisite that hotels & resorts will need is a future proofed internet infrastructure. Increased reliance on technology will require a more robust and high performance foundation. M.S.Ziaee, Director of Information Technology comments in an interview:
“We are experiencing more and more requests for technology (gap) assessments from property owners as they schedule reopening dates. Franchises are already conducting security and compliance audits to assure properties are ready to deliver a unique technology experience without staff.”
“We cannot ignore the increased liabilities that hotels, resorts, country clubs, and spas are facing due to the COVID19 pandemic. We are constantly evolving our solutions with popular industry guidelines, integrating them to ensure our technology assessments identify critical touchpoints of the guest experience that must be automated.”
As social distancing guidelines are enacted throughout the US hospitality & lodging sector, hoteliers must budget for the correct tech. Careful & coordinated budgeting by revenue managers and hospitality technology professionals is essential to ensure promise for a respectable ROI.
McKinsey research has already identified that the industry will experience stepwise growth by segment with the lower and mid scale segments experiencing a faster recovery through to 2023. As leisure travel begins, resorts and country clubs will also see a slow but gradual return, but not until that time.
Another challenge for hospitality owners will be the responsibility to constantly monitor guest and staff health patterns across properties. Hotels and resorts are already acting on this by installing thermal monitors that anonymously monitor changes in body temperature as people move across properties.
As hotels reopen, marketing automation will play a major role in inviting guests back to the property. Reconnecting with online distribution services, publishing information through websites, and delivering promotions through mobile apps are already becoming very popular.
THe bottom line for hoteliers here is that they must rethink the entire guest experience and name it the “guest technology experience.” The role of the hospitality technology manager will now be a core aspect in the development of the guest experience.
Technology as many professionals and researchers agree will be the driver for growth for hospitality beyond 2020. There is already massive interest in developing new and more robust hospitality technology solutions.
The enactment of COVID19 SOPs will only further enhance the speed of hotel technology solutions. Connect with us today to learn more about our exclusive hospitality technology management portfolio.
Stay tuned for more interesting insights opinions and trends from the US hospitality industry. Until next time, see you again soon.