Digitization has contributed many advances in the hospitality sector. Some accommodations have already implemented major changes by integrating new technologies to turn the guest experience into something unexpected and even unbelievable.
Technology is a good strategy to attract younger customers. To stand out from the competition, large companies must offer something else to their buyers. This ‘something’ can be achieved through digitalization.
Offering good facilities and a good service is no longer enough for the current demands. From a marketing perspective, a good way to make a difference can be through mobile devices, as the user is increasingly demanding and needs some element of value. This aspect is especially emphasized on the younger target audience who lives online.
The implementation of new technologies in the hospitality sector can make the guest experience more special and memorable. Personalization is one of the most booming factors in all sectors and industries. The client feels more valued when they are able to find what they need easily and efficiently. Person-to-person communication, achieved through ‘intelligent spaces’, is one of the key elements of digitalization in the hospitality industry that is defining this change of era.
Additionally, technology could change the image of your hotel. Digital aspects are commonly associated with luxury. For example, installing touch-screens in the bathroom mirrors of each room, adding personalized music in elevators, installing thermal scanners that adjust room temperature to the client's body heat... Also, there are mobile applications that allow people to pay for their drinks in the establishment using the internet.
Tourism Review identified the main changes that the hospitality sector needs to go through:
- Uninterrupted connection: companies must offer the possibility that their guest is, at all times, connected to their devices. Having Wi-Fi access is almost “mandatory” for hotels. Also, we are not just talking about free internet access at the reception, but in the entire facilities. Free Wi-Fi has already become one of the essential requirements demanded by consumers. In this sense, you can attract all those people who connect to mobile devices every day.
- Service Automation: new technologies must be present in all phases of hotel consumption. From the moment the client makes an online reservation until they check out. The guest can make the reservation from websites such as TripAdvisor, browsing through plenty of holiday establishments, or directly from the company's website. Afterwards, there are places offering the possibility of checking in using your mobile device through a virtual concierge. Also, there is the option to host hubs and meetings at the reception. In addition, some facilities implemented a facial recognition system that allows you to enter your room. Technologies are the new amenities and what customers appreciate the most.
- Devices that allow personalization: having tablets in your room with information about your destination, or the same hotel, or even leisure and entertainment can be very useful for each guest. The television can be connected to that device in order to offer the consumer movies and programs in their language. Also, this offers the possibility of tracking hours of sleep and rest of your guests. Finally, room service can be accessed through the internet. There are hotel companies that have an online chat to talk directly with the service.
- Office without office: all those business travelers can now reserve a meeting room, or request access to tools such as projectors for presentations and conferences using their mobile devices.
- Social Media Presence: these days, it is practically mandatory to be present on social media, even more so for the hospitality sector. Every day, more people have a strictly digital mentality. Therefore, they need to find your brand and get information in the easiest way possible. It is a very simple and proper way to approach your potential customers.