Hotel technology renovations are a great opportunity for hotel owners to optimize asset performance, enhance ROI, and attract new demographics. As millennials & gen-X become the dominant demographics for hotels across the world, hoteliers are constantly integrating tech to address their demands.
Hotel technology renovations can be a massive opportunity for hotels to grab a competitive advantage in a very competitive industry. Marriott was one of the first hotels to introduce self-service kiosks back in 2004. Although self-service kiosks were already in use since the 1980s, Marriott intuitively grasped the technology to deliver quicker check-ins & check-outs.
In an industry where personalization and communications are becoming popular trends every passing day, technology renovations are essential to make guest experiences simpler. The modern traveller doesn’t demand lavish lobbies and rooms. Their priorities are cosy, tech-enhanced, and seamlessly connected hotel rooms.
An Expert Opinion
Mohammed Shoaib Ziaee, Director of I.T. at Advanced Hospitality Technologies Inc., sat down with us and discussed his countless renovation projects across the US.
“Bottom line is, technology simplifies hotel processes. Minor changes like strategically installed WIFI access points, carefully placed signage, touch payments, and even large-screen displays can have a great impact on guest sentiments.”
“For instance, one of my most successful renovation projects was integrating in-room tablets in an Aloft Hotels property. The hotel experienced more room service orders through the tablet interface and had better communications with the concierge at all times.”
He went on to say that “… the tablets weren’t even the best part of this renovation. We completely renovated the WIFI access points in the lobby, hallways, restaurants, and other areas. Then completely renovated the cybersecurity framework & network infrastructure.”
Simplicity is the Key
Loading your hotel with multiple technologies that may not even be functional for the guest is never a good idea. Technology renovations should be conducted in phases, starting from the most obvious ones to more advanced ones.
One of the most functional tech renovations for hotels automated kiosks, like the Marriott example above. Even in the smallest hotels kiosks can present a brilliant opportunity to easy the check-in process while releasing staff for more important tasks. Crowded lobbies with upset guests is not an ideal scenario for any hospitality business. Thus, this simple renovation in the hotel lobby can be fruitful for both guests and staff.
Other popular techs that hotels are quickly integrating are room service & concierge robots. Marriott Residence Inn introduced “Wally” their robotic butler, while Hilton Hotels developed their front desk concierge “Connie”, collaborating with IBM.
Build for the Future
Technology renovations aren’t really an arrow shot in the dark, there is generally careful planning and forecasting before making strategic renovation decisions. Smart hotel owners will always build for the future. The infrastructure and design at such hotels will have the capability for quick technology renovations.
Consider a hotel that has been built on the conventional model, i.e. no technology integrations. Renovations at such property will involve a higher cost, take more labour hours, and will need more attention from I.T. engineers.
Hotel owners need to carefully evaluate guest needs & the latest travel trends when choosing to renovate properties. Loading properties with complex tech that customers don’t use, will eventually drive them to competitors for better experiences.
Innovation will drive customer service in the near future. Technology renovations will be the heart of the U.S. hotel business with popular tech like mobile apps, robots, IoT, and smart appliances.
Hotel owners should always consider hiring a hotel technology provider to handle their renovations. These breakthrough management companies offer insights into current trends while offering proactive advice about renovations and how to go ahead with them.