The year 2022 turned out to be a great year for the hospitality industry. The return of business travel meant that the business of hotels started returning to the 2019 levels. This year is also predicted to witness a growth in business for the hotels and that success is to be predicated upon technology as has been the case since pandemic. With technology becoming the focal point of guest experience, hotel technology providers have the task to keep providing the hospitality industry with technologies to improve their performance. Here are the top trends in hospitality technology that will be the focus in 2023:
DIGITAL GUEST COMMUNICATION
With people preferring to text instead of on-call or face to face communication, hotels also are deploying chat bots to help their guests to contact staff or raise any queries. These chatbots are AI based and can answer most of the guest queries and recommend restaurants, bars, and attractions in the city. Properties are also utilizing social media communications such as on Facebook and WhatsApp to provide the guests with all the information that they need regarding their stay at the hotel.
DIGITIZED GUEST EXPERIENCE
Properties have been trying to provide a seamless guest experience to guests with the help of technology. Contactless check in allows the guests to skip wait times at the front desk, this means that travelers can get into their hotel room hassle free. Additionally, personalization options can be provided through data analysis and machine learning, to understand the guests’ preferences and tailor their stay accordingly. This can help hotels to provide guests with a more personalized and memorable experience and increase guest loyalty.
Hotels have been moving their operations on cloud-based services in recent times and this trend will continue this year as well. Various companies have been providing many cloud-based options for the properties as per their requirements. Cloud technology is the future of the hotel operations as it allows hotels to access and store data remotely, improving efficiency and scalability. By using cloud-based solutions, hotels can access and manage data such as guest information, reservations, and billing from any location, improving the flexibility and agility of their operations.
Cybersecurity is a critical concern for the hotel industry as hotels have been a target for cyber criminals due to the sheer number of transactions processed daily. Guests using hotel internet can also become a target for phishing schemes. With the increasing use of technology in the hospitality industry, such as online bookings, mobile check-ins, and in-room technology, the risk of cyberattacks also increases. Spotlight will remain on cybersecurity in the hospitality industry this year with hotels and hotel technology consultants spending substantial efforts and resources on digital security.
As homes are becoming smarter in the recent years so have been the hotel rooms. From voice activated services to smart temperature and light controls, many smart options have started to appear in hotel rooms. With smart devices becoming a norm in households across the US, the guest expectations related to smart devices have also increased considerably. Smart rooms will be an important part of guest services in hotels.
VIRTUAL REALITY/AUGMENTED REALITY
The hotels are taking the “what you see is what you get” claim to next level using Virtual Reality (VR). Hotels are using VR to provide immersive hotel tours on their websites, this provides a clear and detailed view of what to expect while visiting the property. Similarly, Augmented Reality (AR) is used to project offerings through use of interactive elements throughout the property. VR/AR is expected to be used extensively by hotels to enhance their guest experience in the coming years.
Don’t expect to see a hotel run completely by robots as depicted in the Sci-Fi movies, but robots have been introduced in some hotels and that number will continue to rise. From Hilton’s robot concierge “Connie” to room service robots, robots are expected to be seen in various roles in hotels this year.
Technology has been the cornerstone of excellent service in the hospitality industry. With the rapid developments in technology, the guest experience has also been alleviated. While hospitality industry has been slow to adopt technology in the past, it is not the case anymore. Hoteliers are investing in technology to increase their performances and revenue. This year will continue this trend of increasing technology in the hospitality industry.
Kazim Raza Ahmed is Research Analyst and Content Strategist at Advanced Hospitality Technologies, A pioneering IT Solutions partner in the hospitality industry. Being a content creator Kazim is dedicated to publishing material keeping pace with the rapid technological developments in the hospitality industry.