Hotels and resort owners are finally breathing a sigh of relief as they reopen with strict rules in place from the US government. While there is an aura of positivity running across the industry, there is still doubt over the survival of the almost 50,000 plus hotels across the United States.
Enacting COVID19 safety rules in hotels and resorts will be difficult, given you have the ideal solutions to deploy them through. Hotels and resorts will be looking for highly standardized solutions, since we are not talking about one stand alone property.
If you look at it from a strategic point of view, it is simply impossible to get any of the rules enacted across huge hotels and resorts without automation. Technology has been a steady driver of growth and customer loyalty across lodging business in the US. From butler robots to intuitive mobile apps, tech has simply merged with hospitality when given the chance.
Technology systems and hardware however is not the issue for hoteliers.
It is the real time management of the guest technology experience and guest coronavirus safety all the time, across multiple properties that is the real test.
Addressing technology management challenges before reopening after COVID19 is a strategic issue for the modern hotelier. How will the guests be welcomed? How will they be served meals? How will they dine? How will they request room service? How will they communicate with the hotel? How will rooms be sterilized? How will hotels & resorts market their assets?
These and many other questions have been on the mind of every hotel and resort owner ever since properties were locked down. A hospitality technology management company usually answers the above and more complex questions based on a professional technology GAP analysis.
By evaluating the health, age, security, compliance, and design of hotel technology systems and guest tech at properties, a hotel technology manager can identify action surfaces and vulnerabilities within a hospitality asset.
Take Marriott for instance who began their technology management journey well ahead of any other competitor. Today, the Marriott BonVoy app is allowing guests all over the world to book rooms, plan journeys, open rooms, order room service, communicate and receive offers from the Marriott Group.
Marriott’s transformation to ensure a more personalized guest journey and pricing their rooms through real time factors is all thanks to the massive technology management initiatives they took dating back to almost 2010.
Through careful understanding and application of ITSM (information technology service management), Marriott was prepared for what would forever be hospitality’s future. Contactless services will now become the norm in lodging, with Marriott already leading the way.
Today, as we combat the COVID19 threat in the US, hotel & resort owners must understand the significance of technology and its ongoing management. Yes, technology applications can make services contactless, but it is the constant improvement of these services that differentiates good hospitality experiences from great ones.
The guest technology experience has become vital to the success of every major hotel franchise from the IHG to Marriott. The modern tech savvy guest demands vast customization in their hospitality experience from bluetooth capability to robots and more.
Hotel and resort owners now more than ever require access to real time knowledge and market data to make informed decisions. Big data had already become a critical aspect of strategic hospitality management. The availability of actionable data for pricing, marketing, revenue growth, and service improvement must also be managed by professional data scientists, as with the Marriott example above.
Technology management in hotels and resorts is becoming necessary not because the business is changing, but the customer is. An evolved new millennial, followed by highly tech savvy Gen, Y and Z individuals are now becoming a growing segment in hospitality.
How hoteliers plan to reach out to these more progressive travelers also depends highly on their technology and digital assets. Developing digital presence and creating loyal customers through social networking is fast becoming a popular way for hotels and resorts to capture the true spirit of their hospitality experiences.
The sad increase in the COVID19 cases in the US requires hotels owners to carefully plan their reopenings. The proper integration and management of technology makes reopening easier, but requires hotel and resort owners to keep improving their guest technology experience.
Contactless payment, robotic butlers, and self driving cars is not a too distant future.
Until next time, see you again soon.