Hospitality providers maybe have begun their journey towards recovery, but, there is still much more to accomplish before conditions return to post pandemic levels.
Business travel still remains stagnant with predictions from Deloitte (2022 Travel Outlook) that business travel will not reach 2019 levels until the end of 2022.
Bloomberg news reported last month that US hotels will suffer a $21 billion shortfall from business travel, while Forbes already identified in a 2021 research that 39% business travelers will completely stop taking trips for work.
Hotel operators and management companies must now take a completely revised approach towards marketing, distribution, operations, and guest services. Hoteliers now know that travelers expect more digital interactions, automation and smart technologies during their stay.
Opera Hospitality has already identified in surveys conducted in 2021 and 2022 that guest prefer hotels with digital bookings, online check-in & checkout, and mobile room key access. The surveys went on to identify that guests would change brands for these simple technology amenities.
Leveraging Technology Management to Get More From Less
The rapid acceleration in technology adoption is quickly paving the way for more refined technology management services in the industry. Yes, its great to have multiple systems assisting staff and servicing guests, but who is managing the technology?
Hosting multiple digital touchpoints like check-in kiosks, Bluetooth room keys, digital room services, online payments, and smart services requires consistent oversight to keep them secure, compliant, and stable.
Professional hotel technology managers usually begin by conducting a technology audit, most commonly know as the “technology gap assessment.” This crucial step allows hotel owners to identify their existing IT & technology assets, the health & compliance of these systems, and the existence of liabilities in these systems.
Hoteliers are constantly looking for intuitive ways to enhance revenues as they are faced with limited demand and a severe shortage of labor. Professional technology management presents great opportunity for hospitalilty providers as they increase investment in new technology applications.
In a recent research, DATTO identifies the following as the top factors that influence revenue management for hotels:
- Integrated systems (58.6%)
- Automation (54.8%)
- TRevPAR (36.7%)
- Digital guest journey (31.4%)
Integrated Hotel Systems
Integrated systems were the top factor identified by surveyed hoteliers. Since there are more than 50 technology systems active in hotels in some cases, these must be synergized for optimal performance.
The PMS which has already been identified to be the most important tech in any hotel, must have the capability to integrate essential sub-systems like inventory, distribution, room service, room access, etc. for enhanced efficiency.
Integrating several technology systems including inventory, room services, laundry services, information, entertainment services, sales, booking, and mobile apps can be a complex task. Professional technology management expertise ensures that all systems are synergized, secured, and compliant.
Integrated systems present an excellent opportunity by sharing data and guests behaviors making service delivery faster even without human interactions. Not only does this make onboarding guests quicker, but also allows managers to deliver a consistent experience to guests.
Automation was identified as the second leading factor that enhances revenue. Professional technology management can allow hoteliers to digitize essential guest touchpoints like bookings, check-in, room service, health safety information and payments.
Coupled with severe labor shortages, hoteliers are left with fewer avenues to delegate guest services. Automation has already proven to reduce cost of operations, improve satisfactions ratings, and maintain strict COVID19 health safety rules in properties.
Professional technology management is therefore an essential to identify services and tasks that must be automated. This is where a tech gap assessment can provide a blueprint for hotel operators to automate various parts of their properties.
Automation can allow massive benefits to hotel operators, while alleviating a lot of responsibility from staff. Consider the basic digital or online check-in system that can not only reduce crowded lobbies, but also onboarding guests within minutes, while allowing staff to work in the background.
Similarly, online concierge services are another essential technology that not only saves staff time, but instantly provides guests with the necessary information they require. Many franchise hotels are already deploying robots to enhance services, surprising guests while delivering basic room services without health hazards.
Total Revenue Per Available Room
The concept of total revenue per available room or ‘Trevpar’ has seen increased attention from revenue managers as the lockdown disrupted operations.
“TRevPAR assesses the total income a hotel generates on a per-available-room basis and is calculated using the formula, Total Revenue/Total Available Room Nights.”
Hoteliers are now focused on upsells and cross sells to generate from revenue from existing guests. Intuitive technology management strategies can allow operators digitize guest touchpoints to encourage in-room revenue.
Mobile apps are by far one of the most clever applications of technology that allow hotels to increase revenue from room services, food & beverages, spa treatments, and pool side snacks. Another brilliant solution is the use of QR codes that provide guests the opportunity to grow revenue from select services.
Measuring Trevpar allows hoteliers to gauge their costs against the competition while identifying changes that can be made to the guest journey.
Digital Guest Journey
The digital guest journey or contactless guest journey concept picked pace as the COVID19 pandemic hit.
The digital guests journey must be a complete redesign that engages and onboarding guests without any human interactions. This process requires clear insight, knowledge and expertise to digitize the entire guest experience.
The process begins with identifying marketing and engagement with guests. Having a sound digital presence through a website and social media is essential as the new demographic of travelers is highly influenced by tech.
Engaging travelers in different stages of the sales funnel requires expertise knowledge to formulate a guest journey that converts leads to guests. Distribution is next, and although services like Booking.com and AirBnB are already making strides in the industry, it is essential to provide easy booking through websites and social profiles.
The next stage of the guest journey is when they have arrived at the hotel. Integrated digital check-in is now one of the most essential parts of the guest journey, and thus requires careful development to ensure a consistent experience for every guest.
Once onboarded, guests expect value added features like digital concierge and online room services. Smart room amenities and entertainment services are also popular features that hotels are already integrating to make the guest journey more flamboyant.
The last but crucial part of the guest journey is the payment. Digital payment services are already making a mark in ecommerce and even physical businesses. In addition to the health safety they offer, online payment systems mae payments both faster and secure compared to POS machines.
The guest journey must be optimized to ensure guests are having a good experience while both their health and personal data is secure. Technology management expertise thus becomes an essential to maintain security, compliance, and stability of the digital guest journey.
Hotels are consistently investing in more reliable technology to enhance profitability and service performance in their assets. The existence of multiple technology systems therefore requires professional management expertise to handle the synergy, security, compliance, and reliability of these systems.
Professional technology management can enhance revenue, improve hotel efficiency, reduce operational costs and increase guest satisfaction scores at the same time. The rarity of hospitality technology managers is however a massive hurdle in the way of hoteliers.
Get in touch with our team today to learn more about our exclusive technology management solutions. Join our sales team for a live chat now to discuss your hotel technology and future investment plans.
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