New technology is fundamental given the high degree of competition in the hotel industry. As more companies enter this market, they often seek to differentiate themselves through new technologies.
According to International Data Corporation, an American market research firm, spending on digital transformation in the hotel industry will reach $5.7 billion by the end of 2018. That is a 45% increase from last year and a massive shift from two years ago when spending on digital transformation was only around 12%.
This trend of increased technology use in hotels can be seen in many smart hotels across the world. In Europe, some hotels are starting to use robots as receptionists. One hotel in Stockholm, Sweden, has a robot at the front desk. This robot answers simple questions or helps people find their way around the hotel. It also calls cabs for guests and makes wake-up calls in the morning. In this article, you will discover ways technology is transforming the hotel industry.
Ways Technology Is Changing The Hotel Industry
The hotel industry is a massive part of the tourism sector, and, as such, it has been shaped tremendously by technology. From booking hotels online to using mobile apps for communication with guests at the front desk, technology has become an integral part of communication within the hospitality industry. While some businesses have a head start on these new technologies, others begin to implement them.
Hotel owners also have a lot to consider when implementing these new technologies, such as how they will affect their relationship with their customers and whether they can afford it.
Options are one of the reasons why more people are choosing to stay at hotels. When you think about hospitality, what comes to mind? The concierge desk, a room service menu, or a hotel's pool? Well, now hospitality has been reshaped by technology.
Hotels can now offer hospitality TV services, which allow guests to watch live or on-demand programming from their living room space within the hospitality suite. The hospitality service keeps people staying at hotels entertained, so they can enjoy their stay even more.
Further, hospitality TV services can include anything from live sporting events to new movie releases. This has been a massive hit with hospitality guests, who love being able to stay in their hospitality suite instead of going out into the chaos that may be waiting for them outside.
Mobile Applications and Online Booking Sites are Changing the Industry
Technology is changing hospitality. With visitors increasingly turning to online platforms to make bookings, hotels are being forced to adapt.
In a Global Business Travel Association report, it was estimated that 60% of all hotel bookings made in 2014 were done online. Using mobile applications and online booking sites for hotels is still growing. Priceline reported a record-breaking year in 2015, thanks to results from their Booking.com website, Ctrip platform, and Priceline app.
With this upward trend in online bookings expected to continue, hotels respond by improving their online interface, working with third-party companies like Expedia and Travelocity to boost their presence on these platforms, and encouraging staff members to help with the process when necessary.
Contactless Payment Processing
The hotel industry has been forced to grow in response to a changing economic climate in recent years. One of these changes is the increasing use of contactless payment technology by guests. In 2015, 20% of transactions at Marriott International properties were processed through Apple Pay alone – a number that's likely only going to rise as time goes on and more and more guests use Apple Pay and other alternative payment systems regularly.
This trend presents an opportunity for hospitality companies to step up their game as far as convenience is concerned. These initiatives include mobile check-in, an app that features hotel information, room service ordering capabilities, and more.
These hospitality companies are now taking hospitality to the next level with these new technologies. With guests now expecting more from their hospitality experiences, this sets the stage for hospitality companies to engage with their guests more personalized.
Automation and Self-ordering technology
Automation and Self-ordering technology are becoming prevalent in the hospitality industry. Guests can order through their television or mobile device to have items such as towels, toiletries, snacks, and drinks brought directly to their room. Other options include using a touch screen at check-in, choosing the room's temperature, how many pillows they would like, etc.
This may sound like living in the future, but it's here now and becoming increasingly common for hospitality organizations to implement hospitality automation solutions. The hospitality industry is all about creating an experience for its guests. Hotels are looking at technologies that provide better service instead of wasting time on menial tasks, like checking guests into their rooms.
Guest demand for hospitality automation is expected to grow exponentially during the next few years, and hospitality organizations must take steps now to remain competitive in this market. Only a few hospitality companies have fully integrated hospitality automation technologies at present, but that will probably change shortly as these technologies become cheaper and more mature.
Automated check-in has become a reality. It is no secret that the hospitality industry has been slow to accept change in the past. This has led PayPal to develop a PayPal Beacon, which can hold personal details about your stay and preferences at different hotels. It will allow the hotel to use the data for marketing purposes while you are staying there.
Many of the essential parts of your travel experience, like hotel check-in and baggage drop, are moving towards becoming wholly automated and, even sometimes, moving away from the physical world. This is all to make travel more accessible and more enjoyable for the customer.
Keyless room entry is a way hotels make the travel experience more expensive by charging for items that used to be included.
Customers can request keyless entrances, locking them out of their rooms until they pay for the service. While this allows customers to open their doors as soon as they want, it also makes it more difficult for them to get into their rooms when they are in a hurry.
The idea of checking in without having to talk to anyone is very appealing, especially if you can do it on your phone. However, this is also causing some issues with the process. There have been multiple instances where guests have found out they are not eligible for an upgrade or no more of the room type they requested.
The need for new technology in hotels has grown due to the increase in competition between businesses. The hospitality industry will see many more changes in how they operate and what amenities guests expect.
Some hotels have taken on this change already, while others still live in the past. New tech for hotels must be found or developed to support all of a hotel's needs better to stay competitive.
Posted 8 months ago by Allen Brown