In the past years, hotel owners and operators started spending more and more on guestroom technology, among other changes some upgrades are taking place in the form of upgrading the existing wireless access, Hospitality Technology reported that 36 percent of hotels were working to increase in-room bandwidth in 2016, adding new HD Tv’s, where guests can stream their own content on, adding new generation room locks like smart locks and mobile keys and even enhancing the room efficiency through room control systems.
Some hotels are trying out Amazon Echo, allowing the guests to control the lights, curtains, room temperature and the TV. Some hotels are testing automatic dispense refreshments such as the appliance that pours individual glasses of wine and send notice to the housekeeping when the bottle is finished. And some, smart TVs that allow the guest to get in contact with front desk or housekeeping services.
As smartphone and tablets are already controlling most of the aspects in our lives, and self-service is a must in almost any exchange, the guests want to experience this in the hospitality industry too, automaton becoming a part of the industry and significantly improving the guest experience. Here are 7 trends that we are experiencing right now:
- Digital Room Keys – mobile apps are becoming the key to the hotel room, allowing the guest to skip the front desk and check-in; this automation frees up hotel staff, allowing them more time to properly engage with the guests. OTA such as Expedia are also working on their mobile-booking app to also act as a key.
- Guestroom Automation – guest automation system that starts adjusting the room temperature to ideal level, offering energy saving data, room occupancy and so on as soon as the room is switched to Occupied from the system.
- Artificial Intelligence – hotels are using AI to offer the guest a unique experience, with features such as drapes opening, and preferred news triggered by the wakeup alarm. Other features include bedside consoles or chatbots that remind the guests about hotel activities and schedules.
- Environmental Impact – utilities make up for 6% of operating costs, new technologies can greatly improve energy costs by having smart AC systems that turn off when the room is vacant, automatic lights and so on.
- Mobile Concierge Software – all around the clock concierge in your phone, that can perform much more than just basic tasks, one good example is Marriott MobileApp that offers a feature called “Ask Anything”.
- Guest Reviews – as reviews are vital to the reputation of any hotel, automatic solutions that keep track off, send personalized emails and texts reduces the staff effort greatly and improves the rate at which guests post about the property, a great example would be Hotech’s HGR.
- Voice Command Technology – as mentioned in the introduction hotels are experiencing with voice command, basically offering the guests a personal butler to do at least some of the small tasks for them.
It is not clear so far how these technologies might affect the hotel employee’s jobs, since they are still new, but one thing is clear, human interaction is still the best at creating great experiences and loyalty to a brand.