Tremendous changes in hospitality trends are rapidly changing the way hotels deliver their services today. This technology-driven shift in the hospitality business is much attributed to the modern traveler, the millennial.
In their report “Trends in Global Millennial Travel: An insight into the key trends, behaviours, and issues of millennial travelers”, Research And Markets identify some brilliant stats about millennial travelers. The report observes that millennials are highly influential tech-savvy travelers, and are the most lucrative segment in the leisure & tourism industry.
eMarketer reports that In 2018 digital travel sales increased by a phenomenal 10% growing to a gargantuan $694 billion during the year. This segment is expected to grow to $818 billion by 2020 according to a Statista report. In addition, the Cosmopolitan Hotel Las Vegas also discovered that guests who use their chatbot feature for room services spend up to 30% more than those who do not.
Hotels and other hospitality businesses must, therefore, adapt to the fast-changing demands of these travelers. Since technology offers great benefits for both hotels and their guests, it is ideal for hospitality companies to at least integrate a basic, if not cutting-edge, technology infrastructure in their assets.
Hotel owners upgrading their properties should consider identifying technology gaps with a technology checklist. In case it is something you have never done as a hotel owner, a hotel technology company can assist your cause.
Hotel Technology Checklist for Hotels of the Future
A cutting edge hotel today doesn’t necessarily require huge technology expenditures and renovations to attract guests. As we mentioned above, a technology checklist prepared after careful observation and research can immensely help identify the most essential technologies that a hotel requires.
Let’s go over the essential technology checklist that hotels of the future should carry.
High-Speed Internet & Support
Among most hotel network upgrades, high-speed internet access is basically the foundation for your technology infrastructure. Everything from office computers, PDAs, smartphones, automated screens, room technology, and chatbots operate through the internet. Ensuring the reliability, speed, and coverage of high-speed internet is essential for the success of your entire technology investment.
‘A car with no petrol is just a metal frame with seats in it.’ Similarly, a technology-powered hotel with slow, faulty, or unreliable internet services is just an expensive bed & breakfast. High-speed internet services are paramount to the success of any hotel business today considering the immense personalization that travelers demand now.
Everything from guest smartphones, POS machines, hotel computers, automated concierges, robots, mobile apps, room technologies, and staff devices need seamless internet connectivity to ensure delightful guest experiences. Internet, therefore, is the first hotel technology upgrade on our checklist for the future.
Ease of access and issue troubleshooting are two areas that hotel owners must emphasize when integrating high-speed internet services. Connecting guests to the hotel network must be simple & straight forward, with a fair level of security to ensure guests data privacy.
Hotel owners & management must not overlook the significance of internet support for guests. Although having a member of staff present to help guests is a great idea, it is neither practical nor lucrative for hotels to have a sole employee just to resolve internet connectivity.
Remote support is a more prevalent trend that provides guests the freedom to connect with an assistance team to guide them through the internet signup process. In addition, having an internet support rep on standby also ensures both minor & major issues are reported immediately.
Mobility is probably the most useful applications across the hospitality industry, making lives easier for both hotel owners and guests. The advent of mobile apps, cloud solutions, and digital keys has rapidly changed the way major hotel brands like the Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton are delivering services today.
The famous Marriott Bonvoy mobile app is allowing the hotel franchise to break guest satisfaction records with unbelievable features including:
- Search & Book hotels of the Marriott franchise from anywhere
- Mobile Check-In
- Mobile Key Access
- Mobile Housekeeping Requests
- Live Chat 24/7/365
- Guest Account Management
Mobile bookings, check-in, and mobile access remain the three most popular features that other small size hotels are also implementing to address this ever-growing trend. The Hilton Group introduced its dedicated brand app a few years ago, while the Ritz Carlton has been using mobile apps since 2014.
Automated Concierges & Kiosks
Automatic check-in machines and kiosks have been part of hospitality since the 1980s when NCR released their first commercial solutions for major hotel brands. Later on, IBM took on the helm of delivering automatic check-in solutions to hospitality businesses through the 1990s and early 2000s.
Popular hotel chains including the Hilton, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and many others now offer ready to go automated concierge machines for guests to check-in instantly. These highly customized machines with custom OS is an all in one solution for checking in, adding personal room preferences, payments, tour booking, and other amenities provided across the hotel.
The real value of these machines is determined by times of rush or when there are fewer staff on-premises. Tired guests are easily frustrated when they arrive at a hotel lobby brimming with guests. This is especially true for business travelers and guests who prefer self-service and want to save time during the check-in process.
After vast integration, usage, and analysis of automatic check-in kiosks we have professional insights that they save significant costs and time while making the check-in process smooth and more efficient.
Signage is a common practice across hotels of the world, large screens with the relevant tour, travel, weather, local news, and attraction info decorating walls throughout the property. Digital signage screens not only brighten up the ambiance but also deliver invaluable information services in one view for guests.
Today, hotel technology management companies provide hotels with digital signage software preinstalled on branded TVs. The advent of large-screen 4K & 5K screen technology has a great impact on hotels. Cutting edge technologies are being used to offer guests a mesmerizing experience using hallways with wall-sized screens.
The Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel is a great example of how hospitality businesses can cash in on leading-edge 6K TV screen tech. Using large wall-size screens and vowing TVs, the Renaissance offers a truly miraculous experience throughout its lobby, restaurants, guest lounges, pool areas, and rooftop.
The applications of technology in hotels is simply put, unlimited. Everything from revenue management, asset management, marketing, back & front offices, housekeeping, room service, laundry, and bookings can be assisted through tech.
However, not every hotel has the need for too advanced and high priced technology that guests might never use. It is always recommended to contract a technology consultant to strategically analyze the requirements for your hotel. Hotel technology managers are highly capable of preparing budgets, procurement, supplier management, support, and installations on properties.
To learn more about technology applications in hospitality, news, and amazing new stats bookmark our blog. Remember to share with colleagues and contact our proficient hotel management team for advice on the latest technology integrations and insights.