Technology key to maximising hotel asset performanceApril 27, 2015 / By
Technology is the key for the future of growth of hotels through improved guest services, increased labour efficiency and smoother running of hotel operations.
In fact, it is imperative for the survival of hotels to be ahead of the game with technology innovations if they want to satisfy the growing demand of guests’ needs.
Already we are seeing the Marriott Hotels offering detox salads through vending machines; people checking in with WhatsApp; robots delivering fresh towels and new and improved software designed to forecast demand and supply management for hotels.
These technological innovations start with the guest wanting to book suitable accommodation right through to the day-to-day operations of a hotel, and can only augur well for the future of the industry.
We are seeing a real change in the way guests interact with hotels both before they book and when they arrive. Bring your own device is becoming bring your own content. Almost 100% of guests travel with at least one mobile device and of those 45% travel with two devices and 40% travel with three or more. Guests carrying their own devices have implications for more than just bandwidth; guest devices are home to a lot of rich content, namely entertainment such as movies, music and games.
There are similar high figures when it comes to automated services. When offered, more than 85% of guests use online service requests for room service to housekeeping. When polled, 91% of guests said they checked in or would check in using an automated kiosk. These services are no longer peripheral offerings, but expected services. These statistics indicate more universal adoption of automation across most guest services.
Guests are also seeing the lobby as a destination to undertake work, so presenting a warm and Wi-Fi friendly meeting point with suitable chairs, desks and charging stations is becoming a requirement for hotels around the world.
Moreover, hotels can improve labour efficiency and hotel management operations through sophisticated use of IT. Technology is not only about adding a system but also using the right people. If hotels get their IT management system right they can forecast more effectively, re-design jobs within the industry, be more efficient with their staff scheduling, while also allowing more time for employee needs and defining career aspirations.
Increased value for guests will ultimately result in higher yield for hotels meaning an improved return on investment, which will benefit not only hotel owners, but the guests too, as they will be rewarded with improved services.
Every hotel around the globe needs to re-evaluate its technology offering and ensure it satisfies a wide range of guests’ requirements.
Guests increasingly expect hotels to match the digital comforts that they use at home. Hospitality is going mobile and hotels need to be at the forefront of this to keep in line with guests’ demands.
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