Technology Will Power Small & Medium-Sized Hotels in 2020

Hospitality technology has gained massive attention and popularity over the last 5 years in the U.S. hotel industry. From an unwillingness to carry tech to highly automated ‘smart hotels’, hoteliers are now more interested in hotel technology applications than they have ever been. 

Since hospitality is dependant on human interactions and timely service delivery, small & medium-sized hotels have been slow to address the technology transition. Today, 76% of business owners believe that technology will massively transform hospitality in the next five years, according to PwC research.  

Today, technology presents some brilliant opportunities for hotel owners to deliver outstanding guest experiences and generate attractive revenue. From property management systems to personalized guest experiences, hotel technology services are taking the industry by storm.      

Mobile Applications

Every business that can make use of them are investing in highly customized and responsive mobile apps for their customers. The hotel industry is not lagging behind in this area with the Marriott Group, Hilton, Ritz Carlton, Hyatt, Yotel, and others all carrying signature mobile apps to assist their guests from anywhere with a WIFI connection. 

Mobile apps can become a single point of contact for a hotel guest, depending on the functionality provided. From checking-in to ordering room service, a mobile app can be critical to the success of your guest experience.  

Since smartphones are an everyday essential, modern guests prefer receiving promotions & discounts from hotels directly to their devices. Guests can also check for hotel amenities, restaurants, shopping malls, and other attractions to spend leisure time. 

Another significant benefit of mobile apps is their capacity to increase in room revenue by up to 30% in certain cases. The Grand View Lodge Minnesota experienced considerable revenue growth after the release of their latest smartphone app, establishing that the app:

  • Reduced the response time to guest requests by 15 percent; 
  • Lowered the number of concierge calls by 15 percent;
  • Increased resort activity sign-ups by 20 percent; and
  • Increased overall front-line staff productivity by 5 percent.

Automatic Check-In & Check-Out  

Automated check-in kiosks and NFC machines are now a major element of prominent hotel franchises. These state of the art machines can easily onboard guests quickly without having to go through waiting lines and time-consuming paperwork. 

Automated check-in machines can have great benefits for small & medium-sized hotels, including:

  • Queues become a thing of the past 
  • Opportunities to boost revenue 
  • Reduce staff costs 
  • Prevent human errors 
  • Enhance guest loyalty 

Keyless Rooms    

One of the most attractive technologies known for both time and cost savings is ‘keyless entry’. Gone are the days of the metal key and the plastic card, both of which can be lost or damaged. A keyless room entry system is either based on Near Field Communication technology or Bluetooth. 

Since both these technologies are now available to guests through their mobile phones, keyless entry becomes much easier to implement. Hotel owners will immediately experience cost reductions since there are no keys, however, routine maintenance will be an associated cost with this technology. 

Do remember to read our previous article on the top three benefits of using keyless entry at hotels

Hotel Technology Management for Small & Medium Hotels 

Every hotel, no matter how big or small requires professional expertise to ensure the proper functioning of its in-house technology. Hotel technology management companies are an emerging theme in the hospitality business. 

The growth in the number of technology applications like A.I. assisted CRM, data warehouses, loyalty programs, payment card data, guest personal data, various hardware & software, etc. all require hands-on management & maintenance. 

These specialist hospitality technology companies are now an essential element in the hotel technology mix. Hotel I.T. solutions require on-going support, health checks, upgrades, compliance tests and renovations to ensure their efficiency. This is where a hotel technology manager brings their expert insights to ensure zero downtime & seamless business continuity.  

Hotel technology managers prove to be priceless when it comes to in-house cybersecurity and POS compliance. The integrity and security of guest data remain one of the most controversial debates in hospitality since it is the 2nd most breached industry behind financial institutions. The ideal mix of security hardware & software requires expert knowledge of information security. 

Hotel technology consultants can also assist with sensitive technology budgeting issues and policy management to assure the secure use of hotel technology systems. They can identify an ideal mix of technologies that a hotel needs, not what it should have. Hospitality technology managers are also a great source of insights for hotel new builds and technology upgrades. 

Conclusion   

Technology will define the guest experience at hotels in 2020, with a massive influx of new intuitive tools now being made available to the industry. Stay updated with our publications by bookmarking our blog. 

For more insights, trends, news, and opinions from the world of hospitality visit us again soon.

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