With new advances being made on a daily basis, modern hotels around the world are starting to catch up in terms of technology. Most of them now use virtual reality (for employee training programs and offering pertinent information to the customer), in addition to wearables (smart electronic devices), robots, chatbots, or Artificial Intelligence applications aiming to optimize the services offered to their customers, who are eager to enjoy new experiences. Hotel technologies are changing the industry.
The growing expectations of the guests about hotel services have become one of the biggest reasons to implement new hotel technologies in the hospitality sector that, aware of the business opportunities that tourism implies, doesn’t want to stay behind the international competition.
The increase in IT investment continues to place the hotel sector at the forefront of the global industry. Currently, and in order to meet the customer’s technological expectations, the hospitality sector has been investing mainly in three areas:
1/ Improved cyber-security to protect payments and guests’ confidential data
Secure connectivity is essential for the hotel sector, which handles every day a large amount of sensitive data of its customers. The sector is already exploring solutions, like the implementation of platforms that allow the creation of user profiles to ensure that access to the network is secure.
The profile recognizes the user and the network authorizes the person before they can access it. The creation of these profiles allows the combination of different services both for the staff and the customers, such as VIP registration and special promotions.
In addition, unified access ensures that the same service and security policies are applied to the users throughout the establishment, so that everyone may enjoy a similar experience when moving, for example, from the health and fitness area to the meeting rooms, or to their personal rooms.
2/ Optimization of room technology to take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT)
The goal is to generate new services controlled by mobile devices. The IoT, integrated inside rooms and common areas, can help reduce costs and improve customer service. Intelligent sensors can be used to monitor and control energy consumption, for example, by dimming the lights when it’s sunny outside, or helping detect maintenance incidents before they may become serious issues, such as leaving the water running in a shower, an overheated appliance, or a broken pipe.
3/ Broadband offer
Wireless connectivity allows both the guests and staff to access the internet from any location and device, and enjoy the same experience quality, wherever they are. In the same sense, having a powerful and reliable wireless internet connection and with technical support to manage it, provides the hotel with complete visibility of its resources, which improves the level of interaction with the network and every application that operates online, resulting in a better customer service overall.
By applying a smart analysis to the data, hotels may gather valuable information: for example, where the customers are spending most of their time, the peak hours of visitations, or how to determine if they are dealing with new customers or return guests.
The information gathered this way allows the development of new personalized services that can actually contribute to the improvement of the experience within the hotel’s premises.
Only by knowing the guest’s preferences, the hotel may anticipate a possible reservation; and this is, without a doubt, what raises the chances that this potential guest decides to stay in that hotel, and eventually returns to the accommodations to repeat that experience.