5 Hospitality Tech Trends You’ll Want to Explore
There’s no question about it — these days, technology plays a starring role in the way virtually all quality hospitality businesses operate. Not just on the backend where RMS comes into play but throughout your guests’ entire stay — especially at businesses like hotels and resorts. You may think your operation is comfortably on the tech spectrum with large flat screens in every room and (hopefully) wireless connectivity available for a nominal fee. But your target audience today expects more. They’re a tech savvy bunch, and are accustomed to getting what they want, when they want it. And hotels have the capability to deliver on those expectations. Not just through the efficiency of a solid staff — but through new technology that seamlessly provides a path to every convenience (and luxury).
Take a look at five interesting tech trends that could enhance hospitality like never before.
1. Mobile Key Cards
Once upon a time, key cards were the height of modern entry methods… and they’ve stuck around for a long time. But thanks to smart phones, “mobile” or “digital” keys are destined to become the new normal. The technology has been around for a few years but we’re seeing both chain and boutique hotels implementing it more and more through apps like OpenKey with great success. To use, all guests need to do is download the hotel’s app, check-in through it, and then tap the unlock icon when they get to their hotel door. The door locks automatically a few seconds after entry.
2. Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo’s personal assistant Alexa is the “it” thing to have at home in 2017. Now imagine for a moment having it in every guest’s hotel room. This is no small undertaking if you want to take full advantage of the capabilities — but it has the potential to be a game changer for customer experiences. Guests could not only wake up and ask Alexa the news, weather or verbally turn off their alarm — but they can also open the shades, turn on the lights, change the room temperature and more without lifting a finger (if rooms are equipped with smart controls, that is).
3. Spa Service Apps
Spa amenities aren’t the norm in every hotel/motel, obviously. But wouldn’t it be great if you could offer those luxury services without having to build costly facilities? A lot of hospitality businesses are doing just that through the ingenuity of pampering apps. By teaming up with companies that have apps for services like facials, massages, blow-outs and more, guests can book an appointment through the app and bring that amenity right to their hotel room.
4. Seamless Streaming
Connectivity has made travel more comfortable and enjoyable than ever before and your guests have come to depend on it no matter where they are. They expect wireless to access email and texts — that goes without saying. But seamless, powerful streaming capability is becoming a necessity, as well. Travelers want to feel at home, and in a generation of Netflix bingers, that means being able to cast or airplay their favorite shows right on their room’s flat screen. Products like RoomCast™ (powered by Google Chromecast) offers a wireless “personal area network” with a Chromecast device integrated right into it — so once guests join the network, they can cast their favorite shows or programs from their device onto the hotel room TV.
5. Tech Lounges
Most hotels have business areas where guests can enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi and access to a printer and scanner. But as with everything else, this convenience is evolving to meet the expectations of a more connected and savvy clientele. That’s where high-tech lounges are making a splash. Not only do they offer dependable wireless and all the other business accoutrements but they present a setting that’s inviting and social. Typical features include sleek, comfortable seating for socializing and brainstorming; separate work stations for privacy; high-speed laptops; a large flat screen TV; and access to coffee, snacks or even a light menu. Some lounges elevate the experience even more by adding state-of-the-art gaming consoles and classic video games, creating a “tech entertainment center” that greatly appeals to Millennials.
What’s your take on the hospitality industry’s continuing tech revolution? Do you think these features will become the norm? Share your thoughts with us.