Technology is making a huge impact on businesses in the hospitality sector. Aside from how hotels are booked, technology is reimagining the guest experience from check-in to check-out. As hotel owners vie to win customers against new marketplace competitors—like Airbnb—a high-tech stay could be the deciding factor that tips the scales in their favor. Plus, tech advances can help your establishment run more efficiently, translating to lower operating costs in the long run.
These four technology solutions can help you update your hospitality business to provide the experiences guests are looking for and the efficiency that can keep you profitable.
1. Self-Service Check-in Kiosks
The hospitality sector is trending towards offering self-service check-in to guests. Self-service kiosks can simplify the check-in process —something that weary travels may appreciate. But self-service kiosks can also function as a concierge, helping guests order room service, book a spa treatment, or find local attractions.
2. Free Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi has become as guest expectation, just the same as anticipating that a room will have hot water and fresh towels. The days of charging for Wi-Fi or only providing the bare-minimum connection speeds are over. The hospitality sector has to provide seamless connectivity for guests looking to enjoy steaming services like Netflix, post vacation pictures on social media, and keep up with business emails. Investing in a strong network throughout the hotel is critical—everything from the lobby, the spa, the pool, the gym, and conference rooms all need lighting fast speeds to satisfy ever-connected customers.
3. Cloud-based software system
In addition to visitor-facing technology, hospitality sector businesses can also benefit from technology advances that benefit the back office. For example, a cloud-based system delivered on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscription basis eliminates the need for a large, upfront capital expense and software licenses. It allows you to pay monthly turning necessary software applications from a CAPEX to an OPEX. SaaS also ensures you are always using the most current version of the application, and the software vendor takes care of maintenance and updates. Cloud-based software also often has the advantage of allowing you to log in from remote locations to keep a close watch on your business at any time.
4. Data integration and technology interoperability
One of the strongest arguments for upgrading hospitality sector technology is that when your technology solutions integrate, you can create a seamless experience for guests and provide your hotel staff with tools that will help them work more efficiently. Your central reservation system (CMS), property management system (PMS), and your point of sale (POS) system, should all integrate with ease. Otherwise, it becomes a nightmare to manage reservations, cancellations, new and modified prices, stay controls, and more.
A centralized command and control center will enable staff to quickly respond to guest inquiries, address complaints, and alter accommodation requests. Say goodbye to sluggish, siloed systems.
Upgrading to an integrated platform now can also position your business for technology advances, such as artificial intelligence-powered guest services. If you continue to use unconnected systems, adding new capabilities will be more difficult in the future.
Hospitality sector technology advances daily. Is your establishment keeping up with the pace?