The fast pace at which technology evolves means it can be difficult for hoteliers to keep up and distinguish flash in the pan trends from those that deserve investment or at the least serious consideration. Karla Pearce, EMEA product marketing manager at Cvent looks at six trends affecting the industry.
Manual, often time-consuming processes, become streamlined with cloud platforms. Integrated systems can combine business intelligence, management and marketing. Through one centralised system it’s possible to generate business leads, manage and respond timely to RFPs on top of evaluating performance in real-time.
Airport travel has given rise to the online check-in process via apps. Many travellers expect the same automated process at hotels to avoid long queues during peak check-in/ check-out hours. Increasingly, guests want to be able to do everything from ordering room service to making payments on their digital devices. This has led to the concept of the ‘digital concierge’ allowing operators to benefit from useful platforms that integrate several processes and present useful information such as nearby facilities and services. Mobility offers greater efficiency, allowing hotel staff to focus on the guest experience.
When it comes to a personalised experience guests have come to expect tailored options and messages from capture to close. To deliver on the digital front hoteliers should utilise data capture solutions and digital display systems.
Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are leaders in consumer social media interaction. The large majority of hotel guests use social media to communicate their travel prior, during and even after their journey. The industry has responded by embracing the medium to communicate its own messages. Operators can make further advancements with interactive touch walls installed onsite to showcase live social media feeds. This solution taps into the growing millennial travel market; early adopters of technology this type of system is greatly appealing.
In terms of hotel costs, energy is one of the largest. Intelligent technologies that help hotels monitor and report on consumption propose an attractive solution to enable cost saving strategies. More environmentally friendly practices are being implemented by hotels including solar power installation.
Some hotels have been quick to engage in futuristic experiences, providing robot butlers to deliver room service and fully automated front desk kiosks. These types of digital systems give hotel staff the opportunity to focus on delivering a more personalised one-to-one service as opposed to routine tasks.