The future of hotel technology: How the industry is changing and what it means for the customer
The field of hotel technology is constantly evolving. New innovations are being introduced all the time, and existing technologies are being adapted to make hotel stays better for guests. We are seeing more hotels that make use of technology in creative ways to improve the overall experience for guests. Furthermore, there’s a subtle shift taking place regarding how consumers view hotels and what they expect when checking into one.
As for 2022, both Accenture and PwC predict hotels will be back to pre-pandemic occupancy, which will drive demand for tech innovations even further. In the era of the “next to normal,” according to McKinsey, hotels will use technology to increase efficiency and maintain the required level of health and safety during a stay.
This article explores some of the biggest changes that are happening in the world of hotel technology.
New technology is making hotel stays better
New technologies are allowing hotel staff to provide better service to guests by simplifying operations. For example, hotels are increasingly making use of mobile apps to streamline operations and make guests’ stays as seamless as possible. Guests can use apps to book and manage their stay while they’re at a hotel.
According to Statista’s research on improving the comfortability of hotel stays, 35% of respondents want their hotels to arrange contactless payment. This hotel technology trend will increase comfort for hotel guests and optimise the check-in and check-out procedures, significantly improving workflow. One in four interviewees also expect smart room keys in their hotels.
Robotics and AI for improved guest service
In addition to mobile apps and voice assistants, hotels are also implementing robotics and AI to boost guest service. Hotels are increasingly using robots to handle common tasks, such as delivering items to guests’ rooms or cleaning the lobby. These robots are often equipped with AI to allow them to navigate around guests and travel autonomously.
AI is also being used in hotels to create a more personalized stay for guests. Hotel chains are implementing chatbots in their booking sites and mobile apps to help guests select their stay based on their preferences.
For example, the FlyZoo hotel by Alibaba has used robots to occupy room service staff, provide guests with all the necessary information, clean rooms, and automate routine processes to the extent possible.
Bigger and better TVs
The TV has been a part of the hotel stay for decades. But, a new trend is emerging in the hotel industry where TVs are getting bigger and better. To begin with, hotels are replacing smaller TVs with larger ones. This is being done to accommodate guests who are watching bigger screen content, such as sports or movies.
Hotels are also making their TV selection better by offering services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. Guests can log in to their account through their TV and watch their favourite shows while they’re staying in the hotel.
Smarter rooms through smart technologies
Sustainability is abuzz in 2022. Hotels are also improving their rooms by introducing smart technologies to save energy, paving the way to sustainability. Most hotels are making use of IoT devices that are powered by a Smart Bluetooth (BLE) hub.
Since the electric power industry as a whole is forging a path to a cleaner and more sustainable grid, the hospitality industry is sure to not lag behind.
From lighting to climate control, smart energy management allows hotels to save, on average, 20% of energy consumption, which is cost-effective for hotels. Also, smart energy management is able to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 70%.
This allows hospitality workers the devices to communicate with each other and with the hotel’s front desk. These smart devices can be used for a variety of purposes, such as controlling room temperature, controlling lights and curtains, monitoring the room’s environment, and sending out alerts.
Hotels are also making their stays more convenient by offering services such as remote access to guests. This allows guests to stay connected to their work even when they are away from home. Besides remote access, hotels are also bringing more automation to their stay by offering artificial intelligence-based services, such as virtual assistants.
More technologies and innovative ideas in the hotel industry:
- Predictive machine learning revenue management system to predict rates, demand and competitor analysis
- Property management system for the front office, back office operation, finance and accounting automation
- Smart room keys through mobile/web apps
- Check-in automation (self check-in)
- Blockchain solutions
There are many changes happening in the hotel industry, and a lot of these are related to technology and how it’s being used. New technologies are being developed and implemented in hotels, and existing ones are also being adapted to make stays better for guests. Hotels are implementing new technologies to better serve guests and improve their stay.
From new technology being used to improve service, to smarter rooms with connected devices, there is so much to look forward to in the hotel industry, thanks to new technology.