Driven by smarter devices everywhere armed with cloud based services and cognitive intelligence, the world is changing at a dizzying pace and resort and hotel management teams are scrambling to keep up with this reality.
The falling cost of innovations and easy access to new technology has resulted in hyper competitive marketplaces and rapid implementation of successful experiments is the way to stay relevant with today’s travelers. It’s an exciting time for hoteliers where small moves create lasting impressions in the minds of travelers by staying current and paying attention to emerging technology.
Hotel management needs to fully grasp the latest consumer technology trends to continue surprising and delighting travelers and guests that support the travel and hospitality industries.
The way ahead
The success of future travel depends on creating value for customers through unique value added products and services that create seamless experiences. Hoteliers must embrace a strong culture and willingness to make necessary investments and structural changes to their operating model.
The future of mobility for travelers is to be connected and hotels, tour operators and airports will soon have mobility solutions with small footprints and a cool factor that can help travelers get around all kinds of places.
Connected ops are here
Intelligent connectivity is going to shift the way hotels build and operate their assets. Smart buildings can be run more efficiently, reducing overhead and maintenance costs.
Brands fight to remain relevant
Big brands are developing tech-oriented products outside of their typical known product line and there are many choices when it comes to connected devices. The competition is fierce for connected devices even for locks and showerheads, especially as hotels are mirroring homes and becoming connected through the Internet of Things.
As cameras become more sophisticated and affordable, there’s less consumer patience for poor marketing shots. Resort and hotel management need to step up their property marketing videos by not just creating content but telling a compelling story in order to be noticed.
The rise of bots and AI
There are two categories of robots making an impact on the hospitality industry companion bots and task bots. Companion bots exist to entertain and act as additional staff greeting guests with a tune while they check in, or snap a photo of an event happening around the hotel property. The butler bot is task- based and used to make deliveries in hotels, to check on wifi signals, and to fetch items for staff freeing them up for more value-creating activities. Not just limited to a bot’s form and function, artificial intelligence (AI) can deliver larger and broader impact with its machine learning capabilities intelligence improves over time. For hotel management this leads to stronger data understanding when it comes to operational decisions like pricing and staffing.
AR ready to rock
Augmented Reality (AR) allows individuals to be present in the world but allows an improvement on what’s happening by adopting an enhanced version of reality unlike Virtual Reality (VR) which closes the world out. However, they both have the ability to alter our perception of the world, where they differ is the perception of our presence. VR is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment and mainly intended for headsets geared towards gamers and training.
Smart hotel rooms
For hoteliers it boils down to the fact that consumers are increasingly used to connected technologies at home. This expands expectations of similar room automation systems when they are hotel guests.
The 5G era
The presence of 5G will enable connected devices to speak with each other in real-time, and then share data across a global fabric to enhance the experience across all devices.
Brands in travel and hospitality will need to have open service architecture to brace the future that will be pivoted on platforms of data and services that can be used to orchestrate seamless customer journeys.
Technology will never replace human connection on the contrary, it will create a stronger need for people to connect in the real world. The balance between the amount of human interaction as opposed to bots interaction will have to be carefully monitored in order for the guests to feel that the human touch is not lost, partially or fully depending on the level of service suited to the property’s standards.