Not surprisingly, the hotel industry has been moving more and more into the world of new technologies, simplifying the way travel consumers plan vacations and improving the overall traveler experience. And as expected, this has led to a change in infrastructure development, business strategies and employee recruitment. Do you know the new trends in hotel technology?
A basic must-have: quality wifi.
Wi-Fi is a must, a service that hotels today must be prepared to offer. One of the first questions your guests will ask is about the wifi password. They take it for granted that it is a main service, since most tourists carry their Smartphone (or any other mobile device) with them and want to be able to connect.
In fact, guests expect that the Internet connection will not have too many interruptions. What does this lead to? An improvement in the hotel’s infrastructure, allowing all areas to have a good connection that satisfies its customers.
At what cost? It depends on your business, obviously. Many chains have begun to offer free wifi throughout the hotel as an indispensable service. Other hotels cannot afford not to incorporate a payment method, but must rethink that the quality of service is very important.
No more lines at the front desk with digital check-in.
Today there are already communication and automation systems that allow these operations. Airlines and many airports allow you to check in online to avoid long lines at the check-in counters. A breakthrough indeed! Now imagine this applies to your hotel.
With an App, guests could conveniently check in and select one of the available rooms based on their accommodation. In addition, these systems for loyal customers could collect useful data. Information is power and personalization of experiences is the best way to use it. So, being able to provide a personalized welcome is as possible offline as it is online. And the only thing guests would need is a mobile device.
If you need real-world examples, keep an eye on Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which has been offering this option to Starwood Preferred guests since 2014. And also Hilton Worldwide, which offers its HHonors members the possibility to check-in and pay.
Paying is easier but just as secure with NFC technology.
Near Field Communication (NFC) is a wireless technology that allows data exchange between devices over short distances. And although it has more applications, payment with the cell phone is undoubtedly the most widespread use of NFC technology.
The convenience it provides is undeniable, because it is only necessary to bring devices close to NFC readers to transmit payment data. In fact, it is evolving in such a way that it is on its way to being the payment method of the future. And all you need is a smartphone!
Although Google was the first to implement this system in the United States, in Spain, this method of payment with NFC technology came from the hand of payment system companies such as Visa or MasterCard with the use of Contactless cards.
Goodbye demagnetization and key loss, hello Smart Key.
Although we can still find hotels with classic keys, which there are, more and more often we can see that some chains are already eliminating the magnetized cards that allow not only to open, but also to offer electricity to the room. These are being replaced in some cases by bracelets with the same function, much more comfortable for guests.
How many times have guests of your establishment forgotten their key inside their room? The last thing we think about when we’re on vacation is that card. For this reason, if the guest must wear a bracelet that identifies the regime they have booked, why not use it as a key? It’s a 2-for-1 that not only simplifies the experience of these customers, but also that of your employees.
Now, there is one more step. Just as we have talked about digital check in, we can also talk about digital key orSmart Room Key. With a system that not only allows you to open the room, but is also the key to other information such as food preferences or room service requests. With an App the guest can be self-sufficient.
Artificial intelligence. The near future.
The robotic revolution is already here. Some hotels already offer futuristic experiences with robot-waiters. Although it is not for everyone and human contact is still important in the hospitality industry, we can increasingly see these artificial intelligence systems being taken into account in different sectors. In fact, chains like Starwood Hotels & Resorts already include technology company Savioke’s Relay robots in the guest experience to carry small items and snacks. Isn’t it fantastic?
The virtual reality revolution in tourism.
With technology, the way we interact with the world around us has changed. Although the concept of virtual tourism is under debate, the truth is that virtual reality or VR allows the presentation of information on tourism products and services in a different, much more attractive way.
Whether as pre-trip experiences for leisure travel or as part of a virtual tourist experience, VR is going to bring a new technological revolution and perhaps call for changing consumer habits again. And it has infinite applications, from virtual museum tours, safari excursions, to visits to remote times and event celebrations in digital environments.