Technology has always been a rapidly changing aspect of the hospitality industry. Before the pandemic, advanced technology solutions were on the cusp of becoming an integral part of hotel operations. Now, these tech innovations have become a necessity.
Leveraging technology allows hoteliers to navigate the hospitality industry’s new normal and set their properties up for continued success beyond the pandemic.
Nick Jones, EVP and Chief Operating Officer at WCI, shares the technology solutions hoteliers should be investing in and their benefits below.
Hotel guests are looking for a safe, consistent and individualized experience. Today, guests can check in, have their room assigned and receive a mobile key before they even arrive at the hotel. No more waiting in a crowded lobby, fumbling with luggage while trying to run a conference call – they can walk right past the front desk and directly to their room.
Once they reach their rooms, the TV is already on and tuned to their favorite channel. The room temperature is set to the exact temperature as the hotel they just left that morning on the opposite side of the country.
Distributed cloud technology has enabled us to extend years of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) into any size property. Hotel owners are able to take advantage of this functionality in many ways. For example, they can assign rooms based on energy efficiency, monitor housekeeping staff availability and cater to individual guest preferences.
Benefits of investing in technology
By implementing a solid technology strategy now, properties are able to scale up their technology enhancements incrementally and extend existing business system functionality throughout every guest touchpoint. Properties can maintain accurate, up-to-date property information by entering it into one system.
This can propagate changes instantly throughout all the hotel’s platforms, including their property management system (PMS), guest-room entertainment, mobile apps, website landing pages and more.
Investing in the right technology not only helps hoteliers streamline business operations, but also keeps staff safe. Technology advancements like panic buttons and cellular boosting that eliminates dead zones in stairwells and parking garages are becoming more commonplace among hoteliers.
Having a strategic technology strategy in place also enables properties to quickly adapt to new technology advancements to meet the ever-evolving needs of guests. Staying ahead of the trends allows hotels to be more competitive in the industry while also increasing guest satisfaction and loyalty.
Trends to watch
The internet of things (IoT) will continue to be a big player in the hospitality industry. Giving guests the ability to control their thermostat, door locks and lighting preferences is becoming more commonplace. IoT functionality also enables hotels to utilize occupancy sensors, leak detection and monitor air flow.
Investing in 5G and Wi-Fi 6 can also help hotels eliminate work congestion. In high-density environments like hotels, networks can become congested as a result of multiple devices using it at one time. In buildings with 5G and Wi-Fi 6 capabilities, guests will be able to experience a seamless transition from cellular networks to Wi-Fi zones, which in turn cuts down on network congestion.
These innovations as well as casting, voice control and hyper automation are all able to be added incrementally at any time to properties, without redundant costs.