The 5 Technology-Powered Hotel Trends
While hotels have been in the process of digital transformation in years past, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has accelerated these efforts out of necessity. Hoteliers have started to embrace technological innovations – from IT applications, e-commerce, and other technology solutions – to gain a competitive edge and help the tourism and hospitality industries regain their momentum.
However, it is not only external factors at play – today’s travellers are highly tech-savvy and well-researched. According to a Google Travel study1, 74 per cent of travellers nowadays plan their trips on the Internet compared to 13 per cent that still uses travel agencies. They also tend to have enhanced expectations regarding their trips and hotel stays.
Hoteliers need to understand these changing traveller trends and guest expectations to improve their services. Fortunately, they are somewhat at a significant advantage since these selfsame technologies help them unlock new insights and opportunities.
How do hotels respond to changing consumer behaviour?
By adopting the right hotel technology, hoteliers can help their guests make seamless bookings and optimise the quality and convenience of their stay. The following are five technology-powered hotel trends to keep an eye on this 2022 and beyond.
Among the many industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is well-known that the hospitality industry was among those that were severely impacted. Ever since the advent of the pandemic and well beyond the post-COVID era, guests have become more aware and demanding when it comes to the hygiene and sanitation standards of the places they visit.
According to Amadeus’ Rethink Travel Global Survey2, contactless and mobile payments (34 per cent) and automated cleaning processes (36 per cent) were ranked the most popular by French travellers among the suggested technology options. In the survey, travellers also got to pick the top five things they would like technology to do for travelling. The two topmost were to reduce queues and congestion in public spaces (38 per cent) and minimise physical or face-to-face contact with others (31 per cent).
- Mobile check-in
Contactless processes are now being used by virtually all industries, from deliveries to shopping. Hotels can incorporate this through their check-in procedure by allowing guests to check in via their mobile phones before they get to the hotel and even use them as their room key.
According to a study3 by tech solutions provider Oracle, 71 per cent of potential guests are more likely to stay in hotels that offer self-service capabilities. As much as 73 per cent of hoteliers likewise believe that the self-service tech will remain a hospitality trend long past the post-pandemic.
Given today’s emerging digitalisation trend, hotels will leverage more popular technologies like IoT and expand their IT systems to provide a more modern guest experience. As a result, they will generate and handle larger volumes of sensitive and potentially personal data that may attract cybercriminals and other malicious actors.
Without the proper cybersecurity defences, such high-tech hotels will be more vulnerable than ever to cyber threats. Therefore, it is imperative that hotels work with certified hotel solution providers such as Vouch, which is ISO-27001 accredited, for their IT systems to prevent such attacks and protect the business’s data, reputation, and customers. It is also essential to conduct cybersecurity awareness training for employees to deter social engineering threats like phishing.
- Big Data
On the topic of leveraging popular technologies, hotels and resorts will eventually rely on Big Data to glean key information like trends in the spending and consumption of guests, their habits, and other mannerisms. Big Data is essentially the large volume of data and analytics that businesses like hotels collect through day-to-day operations.
By taking a data-driven approach, hoteliers can make more informed and strategic decisions, develop more targeted marketing campaigns, create relevant customer programmes, and efficiently manage their operations, leading to increased profitability.
- Service automation
Service automation can benefit a hotel’s customer experience in more ways than one, a prime example of which is AI chatbots – through a digital concierge. With the ever-growing need for an individually customised guest experience, hotels and resorts all strive to make each guest feel special. Since achieving this is a rather tricky challenge, many are turning to these chatbots to aid them in providing the best quality customer experience while also increasing business.
One example is Grand Hyatt Singapore and their AI chatbot called Scott, which they partnered with Vouch. Scott acts as a personalised digital concierge to create great customer experiences. One such way they do so is by mitigating the issues arising from the pandemic, with Scott helping guests accomplish all sorts of tasks, including collecting pre-arrival health declarations. Additionally, it helps guests in other areas such as requesting items, making reservations, ordering room service, making facility bookings, and responding to real-time enquiries 24 hours a day, seven days a week – all these can be done from the comfort of their mobile phones. With the manpower saved by automating and simplifying procedures, the hotel personnel at Grand Hyatt Singapore now have the time and opportunity to take their service to the next level.
With guests now able to do virtually everything on their phones, hotel management has more resources to allocate to other tasks. Furthermore, chatbots are also directly connected with Big Data since they can learn more about the guests and gather information over time, which can be used to provide better service by opting for digital selling with a reliable platform, like RevBooster.
Hotels should be led by guest behaviour
As the hotel industry progresses, the majority of new hotel technology will continue to arise from the desire of guests rather than pure innovation. Hence, it is crucial for hotels to listen and take note of travellers’ demands and expectations from the hotel stay and their overall trip. This way, the accelerating need for individually customised hotel guest experience is addressed, albeit through technological means.
Technological advances have sweepingly transformed the hospitality landscape, prompting hoteliers to take note and play by changing traveller demands and expectations. Key players in the industry should remember that this progression is not self-regulating – instead, it is driven by the changing demands and improved expectations of guests. Technology has granted them unbridled freedom and convenience, and it is only natural that they look for it in various aspects of their lives.
As a key player in the hotel industry, you should not rest on your laurels but keep up with the promising trends since your competitors are, too. Vouch aids to redefine the standards for an exemplary guest experience for hotels worldwide, including Singapore. Our Vouch Guest Experience Platform helps elevate customer loyalty and satisfaction to greater heights by providing the tools necessary to follow through with the trends mentioned above. From contactless dining and room requests to contactless check-in for hotels, Vouch delivers a holistic solution covering every digital touchpoint in a guest’s journey. Feel free to visit our website for resources or contact us today to learn more about Vouch.