Every year, the hotel industry adopts a range of new technologies that promise to upgrade operations and enhance the guest experience. While some of these advancements and innovations have the ability to radically alter the hotel landscape, they aren’t all created equal. The trick for hoteliers is being able to navigate the noise and identify those trends that boast real long-term value and utility.
With that in mind, these are the four recent hotel tech trends that we believe are here to stay.
More than 75% of Americans currently own a smartphone, with this number still on the incline. As these devices have become ubiquitous, they’ve provided hotels with a number of exciting opportunities. Forward-thinking properties have made it possible for guests to to customize the in-room experience, allowing them to set the room temperature, dim the lights or pull up Netflix, all through their phones. Mobile apps can also handle check in, room service, housekeeping and concierge services. Since smartphones can streamline both access to and delivery of certain services, there is every incentive for hotels to expand their implementation and application.
In order to protect guests—and guest data—hotels are investing more in both onsite and cyber security. The number of hotels with lobby security cameras rose from 58% in 2012 to 86% in 2016. In addition to physical threats, hackers are also increasingly targeting hotels with valuable data and insecure networks. Using technology to enhance security in all forms will be a growing priority as hotels focus more on reputation management. In general, hotels will strive to improve surveillance and security across properties in order to avoid all types of disruptions.
Automation and Artificial Intelligence
We are already seeing some hotels use robots to directly interface with guests, and a recent survey has shown that almost two thirds of travellers would be comfortable with the use of artificial intelligence in the travel industry in the next few years. The hotels of the future certainly seem like they will be run by robots, but while these applications of A.I. continue to mature, automation is flourishing in many hotels’ back-end processes.
Hotel processes like check in, check out and room service are increasingly being automated in line with guest preferences, while labor-intensive workflows related to housekeeping and maintenance may soon become more reliant on robotics as well. This trend seems like it is only going to become more widespread in the future, as these technologies have the ability to free up hotel staff to focus on other operations without sacrificing the guest experience.
Hotels that have diligently collected guest data are using it to develop sophisticated profiles and deliver a more customized experience throughout the guest life cycle. This makes a lot of sense when you consider that 74% of surveyed guests enjoy receiving customized offers and exclusive perks through loyalty programs. Working with guest data is an asset for many reasons, all of which tie back to better delivering on guest expectations. As data management becomes both easier and more expansive moving forward, customization will follow suit.
The technology trends most likely to endure are those that benefit both the guest and the hotel. They will provide the guest with a more seamless and singular experience and the hotels with the ability to control costs and maximize revenue. There’s no question that the hotels that make the smartest use of new technologies are those most likely to excel this year.
Contact RoomKeyPMS to evaluate the technology you currently have and explore the technology you urgently need.