Top 5 Trends In Hotel Technology
In recent years, technology has become crucial in attracting guests to hotels, so hoteliers must keep up with the latest trends in order to stay competitive in the industry. Consumers are becoming more technology focused and are expecting to enjoy the same technology in hotels as they do at home. For hoteliers, integrating technology brings about huge benefits and not only can they significantly increase guest satisfaction, but they can markedly reduce their operating costs as well.
This doesn’t just mean in-room technology, but a range of technology solutions that increase guest engagement across the board. Guests have moved beyond the point of being delighted and surprised with technology solutions, but rather now it is expected. To keep you informed, this article will explore the top five trends in hotel technology that must not be ignored.
There’s no doubt that the world has changed now where mobile is king. Consumers want to be able to perform as many tasks as they can from their mobile device. From a hotelier’s point of view, this means mobile bookings, mobile check-in options, and mobile room keys. In fact, 84% of hotels are currently working on releasing a hotel-branded mobile app where guests can have the convenience of mobile check-ins, mobile keys, and instant communication with the hotel’s staff via two-way messaging1. Forget picking up the landline to call reception to ask for room service, this will all be done via the hotels mobile app.
Hotel branded mobile apps present a lot of opportunities to gain valuable data about guests and their personal preferences. From wake-up calls, to what type of breakfast they like, what time they go to the gym in the morning and more, hotels will be able to store all this valuable data and create a personal profile for repeat customers. By integrating and analysing mobile data and reservation information, hotel’s will have the ability to surprise their guests with their personal favourites, and upsell guests through pre-arrival and checkout offers to increase room revenue.
In-room technology is a difficult area for hotels because technology becomes obsolete so quickly and let’s face it, it’s not feasible to replace every couple of years. The biggest aspect of in-room technology that almost half of hotels will be upgrading is bandwidth to support the content and devices that guest bring with them to the hotel. Also, delivery platforms will also be upgraded, meaning bigger and better TV’s that easily integrate with mobile devices to enhance the viewing experience.
It may come as a surprise but according to Hotel Technology Next Generation’s Michael Blake, “the number one thing guests want is for the Wi-Fi to work”.2 Hotels must be able to provide secure, robust and accessible Wi-Fi to guests or they’ll simply go to a competitor. To do this, hotels will need to future-proof their networks by integrating fibre/copper hybrid networks instead of just running new cabling every five years. By installing fibre networks, bandwidth becomes unlimited and doesn’t degrade over distance and hotels will be able to provide stand out guest room and mobile experiences.
Increasing sophistication of technology comes with a rise in hackers and cyber-attacks, so hotels must be able to protect their guest’s data, particularly payment data, if they want to stay competitive. Consumers perception towards security has changed and it’s essential that hotels can provide a vehicle for secure payments. With the addition of mobile and social channels, guest privacy is becoming increasingly important so hotels must recognise this trend and invest in security measures accordingly. Nobody wants to be in the position of having to cancel all their credit cards because their hotel system got hacked.
Technology is advancing exponentially, providing huge opportunities for hotels to enhance their guest experience and reduce costs. To increase guest engagement and satisfaction, hotels will need to respond to issues such as mobile ubiquity, personalisation, security, and consumer demands of better in-room technology and Wi-Fi accessibility.
But, this takes time and the trends described above are still a work-in-progress for most hotels. The current climate of hotel technology is much different, with the the most advanced technology being provided through guest engagement systems.
Systems like Lifestylepanel allow guests to have access to Wi-Fi, browse the internet, watch TV and box-office movies, send messages to staff, and view hotel information and services all from the hotel’s in-room TV. For more information on Lifestylepanel, visit http://lifestylepanel.com/