Digital technology innovation has affected every industry including the hospitality field. Technology can make or break the customer experience, particularly in the hotel world, where the guest experience starts well before the front desk, with an online check-in to your facility. By the time the guest has reached registration, they will already have a first impression of your hotel, and technology plays a big role in shaping their perception of your team as forward-thinking and innovative, or out of step with the modern world.
Perhaps that’s why Hospitality Tech reports more than half of the world’s hotels will spend more on technology upgrades this year. Hotel chain leadership reports they’re spending more on payment security, gadgets for guest rooms, internet bandwidth, and mobile engagement – in that order.
What latest tech tools are hotels spending money on? What consumer trends are driving these purchases? What will the hotel of the digital future resemble?
5 Tech Cool Tools and Trends for Hotels This Year
1. Going mobile-first
Travelport Digital has an interesting lead into their latest blog:
One thing travelers have made clear is that they expect a continuity of experience, wherever and whenever they engage with a travel brand, whether through apps, bots, voice or messaging. And mobile is central to these experiences.
The idea that consumers are focused on digital continuity or even that they are obsessed with their smartphones is nothing new. We know consumer usage has skyrocketed over the past five years. How technology has responded in the hotel industry is to offer a mobile experience that immediately allows our customers to book-in online. Having hotel-branded mobile applications that are responsive and intuitive is now the industry standard.
2. Capturing and using customer data
Hotels can take a page from Facebook buy adopting new ways to leverage customer data. While we’re not suggesting breaking any privacy laws, using data to personalize the guest experience should be a vital part of your digital strategy in the future.
3. Improving guest room technology
With more devices than ever using your hotel facilities, boosting bandwidth for faster speeds should be a priority in 2019. Adding smart TVs that can sync to customer devices or adding Hulu should be a minimum requirement for next year. Consider using smart devices for temperature control and lighting; Vendors like Amazon have launched Alexa for Hospitality, a new voice assistant designed specifically for guest rooms. Imagine in-room personalized concierge assistance via these digital tools.
4. Energy conservation
Adding smarter devices to control a hotel’s energy consumption will virtually (pun intended) pay for itself. With energy topping the list of overhead costs in most hotels, using technology will improve energy efficiency.
While this may seem like a far-out trend, check out Savioke, a robot that can run errands or deliver items to hotel guests. Today’s hospitality robots can save staff time while delighting guests with your tech-savvy. Even better? Robots don’t care about the tip.
While these are just five of the technology trends making big changes in the hotel industry, what hasn’t changed is your need for top talent to serve guests throughout your facility. Since robots haven’t taken our jobs – yet – connect with our top hospitality recruiters today about how we can help fill any gaps in your hotel teams.