You will fall behind in your bookings if you fall behind in your technology, here’s why…
Technology is no longer just a nice “extra.” In the travel industry, using and providing the right kinds of technology has become an absolute necessity, so much so that AAA has revised its Approval Requirements and Dining Rating Guidelines in April 2018. The new requirements state that a hotel must incorporate advanced hospitality technology into their day-to-day operations.
In order to qualify for a 3-Diamond rating, a hotel must offer guests the ability to check-in and -out using mobile technology. A 4-Diamond rating will require a hotel to feature technology that allows guests to access guest-services through mobile devices AND the ability to check-in/out with mobile technology. For a 5-Diamond rating, a hotel must offer the previously mentioned hospitality technology as well as mobile key technology and advanced connectivity across guest interactions.
These new ratings now score hotels based on their ability to connect with their guests through advanced hospitality technology that goes beyond offering free Wi-Fi or USB ports. AAA now looks for hotels to offer content-rich mobile apps, mobile key technology, and self-check-in capabilities.
AAA Diamond ratings aside, guests themselves are demanding access to technology like mobile check-in/out and are more inclined to stay at locations that offer these options. The guest experience has always been the foundation of success in the hospitality industry, but in today’s review-driven society creating and maintaining guest satisfaction is paramount. Guests are looking for a seamless and personal experience that allows them to control every aspect of their stay and they’re looking for on-demand results.
Incorporating integrated connective technology into daily operations has become an important part of the guest experience. According to a 2017 Oracle Hospitality report, nearly 2/3rds of U.S. hotel guests consider technology “very or extremely important” to the guest experience and 80 percent of leisure travelers value the ability to use their mobile devices to request service from their hotels and/or message the hotel staff.
Guests not only want increased access to advanced hospitality technology, but they also want access to fully-integrated, content-rich, connective technology that provides them control over integral features of their hotel stay. Offering features like mobile check-in/out, mobile key access, and the ability to book activities outside the hotel or make reservations at local restaurants is no longer a nice “extra” for guests, it’s a must-have.
This is a massive shift for the travel industry and hotels must rethink their traditional approach, otherwise, these hyper-connected digital consumers will choose to stay elsewhere. Incorporating connective in-room technology and mobile check-in/out may also help increase hotels’ revenue and decrease their expenses by reducing printing costs and providing data on what guests favor on the in-room dining menu and other services.
Give your guests the option to check in online and use their phones to unlock their room door because many prefer to avoid the front desk altogether. Once in the room, guests should be able to stream their favorite entertainment to the TV and use their devices to request amenities, book reservations, and otherwise communicate with hotel staff.
Make sure you are offering the hospitality technology today’s travelers demand, or they will go elsewhere to find it.