Over the past decade, the hospitality industry has begun incorporating more and more tech trends in both their new design concepts and renovation of existing spaces. Guests’ demands are changing the technological environment and as the trend increases, hospitality businesses must stay ahead of the curve, keep a trained eye on these trends, and understand the savings and improvements this technology brings to the table.
Hotels and other hospitality entities everywhere are taking note of these trends and are using them to their advantage to create a better guest experience and promote greater employee productivity behind the scenes. Here are just a few of the trends to watch:
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and BYOC (Bring Your Own Content).More and more hotel guests are traveling with minimally one device and more and more it seems they are bringing up to three.The devices allow the traveler to have access to vast amounts of content such as movies, music, and games.By providing synching services, free Wi-Fi access, and spaces designed with the tech-savvy guest in mind, the hospitality establishment allows the traveler to bring their own entertainment, thus creating a setting where a guest is able to be both mobile and comfortable within the space.
Virtual reservations, check-in, and ordering.Guests these days have become used to doing business with the swipe of a finger or click of a mouse, and as this way of doing business becomes more mainstream, they expect the same level of automation when traveling.When offered, a majority of guests use online service requests for everything from room service to housekeeping.Many restaurants and hotels are beginning to install check-in kiosks similar to those typically seen in airports around the world.Because these services are becoming less peripheral and more an expected service, hospitality businesses are smart to embrace these trends.
High-tech meeting and public spaces.From hotel boardrooms to the lobby equipped with communal tables, outlets, and charging stations, the demand is for businesses to cater increasingly to the high-tech demands of their guests.Meeting planners are using apps to communicate their specific requirements before or during meetings; their requests can cover anything from coffee to a temperature change in the meeting room.Moreover, guests are frequently looking to get work done in lobby spaces, which allows for not only enjoyment of the space, but also networking opportunities.
Social Media.A relatively recent phenomenon, social media, is fast becoming a requirement of any business’s marketing plan and has had a profound impact on the hospitality industry.Sites like Trip Advisor and Hotels.com have become useful tools and sources of information for the leisure and business traveler.Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ have quickly become just as influential, and having a well-managed presence on each is a must.Hospitality businesses should focus on investing in a process that not only monitors these sites, ensuring that they are in touch with guest comments and reviews, but also integrates with their marketing department’s daily operations. This will ensure that swift, appropriate action can be taken as needed.
Keeping up with technology trends can be a daunting task, and as the potential of technology knows no bounds, we can expect to see these trends to not only continue, but expand. From front office to back office, lobby to boardroom, kiosk to tablet, these trends are having a significant impact in the hospitality industry and they will continue to redefine the way business is done.