Guests don’t just want the usual benefits during their stay. They have begun to actively voice a desire for investment in hotel technology that supports a high-tech, high-touch hotel experience.
Knowing what today’s hotel guests want is not a guessing game at this point. They’re clearly saying, “We want more hotel technology!” Don’t believe it? A recent survey of travelers by Oracle and Phocuswright revealed that two-thirds said investment in hotel technology that enhances the guest experience is “very or extremely important.”
This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who’s been keeping an eye on travel trends over the past decade.
64% of Hotel Guests: Investment in Hotel Technology is “Very or Extremely Important”
Technology plays a heavy role in the travel experience from beginning to end.
For instance, travelers rely heavily on using various mobile devices for research and trip planning. Online searches provide a ton of valuable information, and social media and online reviews are now considered the first go-to for most people looking for authentic feedback about not only hotels but details about destinations as a whole. After a stay, half of all guests post about their hotel stay experience on social media as well.
And, of course, the utility of technology, and mobile technology, in particular, extends to during the hotel stay as well.
Nine in 10 business travelers and 8 in 10 leisure travelers value use of smartphones to request hotel services or communicate with staff.
Other key findings from the report about the ways guests want to use smartphones to interact with hotels:
- A third of guests are interested in using a complimentary hotel tablet provided in guest rooms
- Forty-one percent of guests want a message to their smartphone when their guest room is ready
- About 21 percent of guests want the ability to stream content onto the in-room TV
Hotel guests are leaning toward more independence as opposed to the traditional hotel experience where the staff is very visible throughout the entire stay. Guest preference is for staff to maintain a constant digital presence, where they can be conveniently contacted if needed or serve as a virtual concierge with suggestions and information to help guests make the most of their time at a destination.
More than 60 percent of guests currently go to sources other than a hotel concierge for suggestions about how to improve the guest experience, but surveys such as these reveal that hotels could reach and serve more hotel guests if they expanded to include a virtual concierge and digital guest services for better communication and messaging with guests.