A Blog by INTELITY

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Presenting the latest innovation and trends in hospitality technology and the products that are revolutionizing the service industry.

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Why Hotels Should Prioritize Technology in 2019 Budgets

High tech has become the norm, and it may be growing faster in the global hotel industry than almost anywhere else. As you finalize your property’s 2019 budget, make sure you’ve considered this high-tech trend and have allocated the right amount of spending for the hospitality technology that will best serve your property, your staff, and your guests.

The New York Times quotes Scott Dobroski, who works in corporate communications for Glassdoor, as saying, “All companies are becoming technology companies to some degree, and this is especially true in the hospitality industry.”

And guests are taking notice. Hospitality Technology’s 2018 Customer Engagement Technology Study found that 65 percent of guests said they would pay more and are more likely to return to a hotel that provides the technology they consider essential. Another study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel and 69 percent prefer to opt-in to smart-room features.

For 2019, this includes mobile check-in that allows guests check-in and out from a smart device, the ability to communicate with hotel staff through messaging, and access to high-tech features in guestrooms. Twenty-first-century guests expect to have access to the same sort of seamless technology in their hotel room that they have at home. They want to find easy-to-use, lightning fast Wi-Fi with Internet speeds that are as fast as at home—or faster. They want to be able to stream content from their phone right to the TV, and they want to be able to make requests without having to pick up the phone.

why hotels should prioritize technology in 2019 budget

Other critical areas to prioritize in your technology budget are booking engines, digital concierge services, mobile key, and beacons.

But let’s not forget about staff-facing hospitality technology. It’s invaluable having a mobile platform that allows staff members to respond to guests in real time, even when they are away from the computer. This type of platform also provides metrics on task management and request fulfillment timelines. Not only does this automated technology help streamline operational efficiencies, but it also frees up staff time to allow your team to focus on guests and create an exceptional guest experience.

With AAA’s newly revised Approval Requirements and Diamond Rating Guidelines, it’s important to incorporate technologies that connect guests and lodging operators so they can “interact on an increa­­singly personalized basis.” To qualify for one of the higher AAA Diamond Ratings in 2019 you need to make sure your budget allows for the appropriate technologies.

  • A 3-Diamond rating requires a hotel to have mobile technology that supports check-in and check-out.
  • A 4-Diamond rating requires that as well as remote guest-service access through mobile devices.
  • A 5-Diamond rating requires all that and mobile key access to guest rooms and advanced connectivity across all guest interactions.

Prioritizing tech spending in your 2019 budget will help you to remain competitive within the industry. According to Hospitality Technology’s 2018 Lodging Technology Study, 71 percent of companies that consider themselves technology innovators plan to increase their IT budgets, and 40 percent that considered themselves “laggards” plan to do so.

Ask yourself: Are you communicating with guests from the moment they book their room? Do you have guest engagement and communication throughout the entire guest journey – before, during, and after their stay – and is that helping you earn guests’ loyalty for the long-term?

As for your staff, does your hotel provide tools that ensure five-star service and experiences? And do your digital systems integrate with the other important property management solutions you use?

INTELITY’s enterprise-level hospitality technology platform provides a one-stop shop that offers 20 of the 24 mobile functions that guests revealed wanting the most in that HT 2018 CETS report,” says INTELITY Founder David Adelson. The INTELITY platform also easily integrates with more than 100 other applications you might already be using – or wanting to add to your 2019 operations.

Make sure to think carefully about where you’re at with technology as you finalize your 2019 budget. The worst thing you can do is to fall behind the industry’s tech curve. Guests may stop coming, and it may become difficult or impossible to regain your relevance.

It’s Budget Season… Are You Ready?

Studies show mobile solutions from INTELITY are high on guests’ wish lists for 2019

According to Hospitality Technology’s 2018 Customer Engagement Technology Study, 65% of guests say they are willing to pay higher rates and are more likely to return to a hotel that offers access to the technology they deem important. Guests’ technology demands for 2019 include having a hotel mobile app with a variety of features, the ability to check-in and out from a mobile device, and high-tech features available in guestrooms. However, travelers aren’t the only people demanding better hotel technology.

When AAA revised its Approval Requirements and Diamond Rating Guidelines in April of this year, it put connective technologies front and center so that guests and lodging operators could “interact on an increasingly personalized basis.” So, for a hotel to achieve a higher AAA Diamond Rating in 2019, it will need to budget for more engaging technologies…

budget for hospitality technology in 2019

  • A 3-Diamond rating will require a hotel to feature mobile technology that supports check-in/out
  • A 4-Diamond rating will require mobile check-in/out PLUS remote guest-service access through mobile devices
  • A 5-Diamond rating requires all the previously mentioned features PLUS mobile key access and advanced connectivity across all guest interactions

As hoteliers prepare their 2019 budgets, various studies in consumer travel behaviors are substantiating the need to incorporate mobile guest experience solutions.

“As the summer winds down and the 2019 budget season ramps up, hoteliers need to bring technology to the forefront of their capital plans,” said David Adelson, INTELITY founder. “Owners and operators need to ask themselves these important pre-budget planning questions: ‘Is our relationship with guests as strong as it could be? Are we digitally engaging with everyone from the moment they make a reservation? Are we increasing guest engagement and communication at all stages of the guest journey? Are we developing guest loyalty for long-term benefits? Are we empowering staff with tools to ensure five-star service and experiences? And, are we investing in digital systems that will integrate with other key property solutions?’

“If the answer is ‘no’ to any of the above, then it’s time to call INTELITY,” Adelson said. “We provide a one-stop-shop to the engagement solutions that guests are demanding the most. In fact, INTELITY provides 20 out of the 24 mobile functions that guests revealed wanting the most in the HT 2018 CETS report.”

The INTELITY platform gives guests fingertip connectivity to the hotel along every step of their journey, from the moment reservations are made until long after travelers check out inclusive of App, Mobile Web, Text, Social and In-App chat. By giving guests direct digital access to request things like room service, housekeeping or wake-up calls, hoteliers are revolutionizing and personalizing the guest experience. Budgeting for these solutions is an investment in guest loyalty and satisfaction. The result is a healthy financial future for owners.

budget for hospitality technology in 2019

INTELITY can:

  • Place tablets in rooms, including hardware, software, and installation
  • Eliminate more than $12,000 in annual in-room printing costs
  • Increase average monthly IRD revenue by at least 6%
  • Open two-way guest communication with 85% average usage
  • Provide daily business intelligence on operational efficiency

As technology continues to dictate travelers’ expectations and demands, INTELITY stands ready to equip hoteliers with the tools they need to deliver on those experiences.