A Blog by INTELITY

At Your Service

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

hospitality technology

6 Marketing Tips to Become a “Social” Hotel

Is your hotel looking to take your social media marketing to the next level? Hotels that consistently connect with their guests via social media have been found to increase awareness of their hotel and build stronger bonds with their guests, leading to a likelihood of higher mobile app adoption rates and long-term success.

In the modern travel industry, there has been a culture of sharing reviews and experiences online. Recently, EyeforTravel found that 70% of travelers update their Facebook with photos and text posts while on vacation. This percentage goes up to 97% for Millennials, according to Internet Marketing Inc.

Personal recommendations, through these shared travel experiences, have become the most trusted form of ‘advertising’, because, at the end of the day, people trust people – not brands, according to research by Neilson.

Hotels can smartly use social media to capitalize on these trends in order to see an increase in bookings, a return in clientele and encourage growth in their hotel.

Here are six social media marketing tips that hotels can start utilizing now:

TAKE TIME TO LISTEN THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

When you consider your marketing strategy and evaluate your choices for addition to technology and new strategies, make sure you have a firm foundation with which to build on. Social media can provide a window into knowing what guests want – and be very useful for improving marketing, operations, and management.

Local Measure, who examined content via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for two months in 2017 looked at 300 hotels were popular places for guests social chatter. Here were the results:

  1. Restaurant/meals – 11,700 posts
  2. Drinks/ The Bar – 6,400 posts
  3. View from the guest room – 4,000 posts
  4. Key room features/condition of the room – 3,000 posts
  5. The pool/swimming – 2,800 posts.

Clearly, dining and bar areas are popular locations to ensure a social media-friendly experience. Enhancing aesthetic features such as backdrops and soft lighting, without sacrificing other parts of the guest experience will lead to overall guest satisfaction and loyalty – and provide the perfect Instagram or Snapchat photo opportunity.

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ENGAGEMENT IS CRITICAL

Engagement is essential for becoming a ‘social’ hotel. By engaging online, hoteliers can offer greater personalization and lead guests toward those incredible customer service experiences that have come to define luxury hotel guest service. Here’s how you can engage socially:

  • If the guest does engage on social media while on property, make them feel extra special by engaging back
  • Use collateral to recommend hashtags for your location then keep your social media team on the ball by looking out for guests that engage with that property
  • Thank guests for any posts and keep an informal friendly tone that is in line with your brand

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ASK FOR ONLINE REVIEWS

It is clear that reviews are critical both in influencing guests during their path to purchase and inspiring loyalty for returning guests. Asking people for online reviews and making it easy for them to fill out, will likely increase the opportunities for positive reviews of your property.

INTELITY’s Mobile App and Messaging solutions can serve as a convenient bridge for conversations with hotel guests. An increasing number of guests carry a personal mobile device and are enthusiastic to use their mobile device for active digital engagement with hotel staff.

Specifically, INTELITY’s Mobile App comes with built-in features, such as digital comment cards or the ability to send a push notification or text message which you could use to request guest feedback after they have checked out.

Guest responses can provide insight into their behavior and preferences and can be leveraged to increase overall hotel guest satisfaction and loyalty. This is can be critical for appealing to modern travelers, who place more value on personalized guest experiences.

CATER TO THE ‘EXPERIENCE SEEKING’ GUEST

Guests are becoming “experience seekers.” They are actively looking for something new and different that might be photo or Facebook-worthy. Ask yourself what kind of guest experience you want to provide, then think outside-the-box to come up with strategies and technologies to implement at your hotel.

We admire Conrad Hotels’ desire to continue to be innovative in their approach to content marketing, as well as, a useful service for its guest through the Conrad 1/3/5 campaign. This campaign was built with local travel itineraries for 1-, 3- and 5-hour time frames in destinations from all around the world. For your own private tour, visit StayInspired.com.

Conrad 1/3/5 or the StayInspired campaign has inspired trust in the Conrad brand by becoming an invaluable resource for travelers and guests. As a member of the hospitality field, carefully consider your hotel’s location and what you think will improve or enhance your guests’ experience.

USE SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS TO BOOST YOUR BRAND

One thing that guests are more loyal to than social media itself are the influencers that they subscribe to in their daily lives. Influencer marketing is currently one of the fastest growing customer acquisition methods out there today.

Influencer marketing is a powerful way to connect with larger audiences with the added touch of a trusted voice – which is especially valuable for lifestyle and boutique hotels aiming to define and build their identity. One main factor that needs to be considered in choosing an influencer for your hotel is the influencer’s audience demographic. The audience you want to choose should match both the hotel’s distinct personality and target market.

Influencers don’t always have to be social media celebrities. They can simply be users with a significant following who are representative of your target market, such as a social-savvy corporate traveler. Followers will be more likely to relate to these down-to-earth personalities, which could lead to higher bookings and better social brand loyalty to your hotel.

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Consider a Marketing Strategy that Focuses on Guest-Curated Content

A solid social media strategy should also include more than your hotel’s professionally photographed images. You can amplify a sense of trust in your brand by promoting content created by your guests. Help your guests and potential guests find the things they are interested in, whether it be a local area attraction or event, and show those interested in your hotel that you are the go-to for all things in your area.

Re-share a recent guest’s Instagram photo where they discuss how amazing the hotel decor is, how delicious their complimentary breakfast was, or how they cannot get over how good the view from their hotel room is. Make sure to thank your guest for their lovely comments for that personal touch. When reposting, use direct quotes if possible then tag and give photo credit to the Instagram user. Through social media, consumers are more likely to notice things like guest iPhone photos over professional photography.

Look Ahead: Hotel Technology in 2018

Were you able to keep track of all of the innovations in hospitality technology that have been released over the past year?

If you did, give yourself a round of applause. Last year, there were more announcements regarding hotel technology development than we, here at INTELITY, have witnessed in a very long time.

INTELITY expects the industry to grow leaps and bounds in 2018 for guest engagement technology based on current hotel technology trends. More guests embraced technology in 2017 and they have now come to even expect and demand technology to be an integral part of their travel experiences.

“Today’s guests expect to be able to use their smartphones to do almost everything,” said George Corbin, senior vice president of digital, Marriott International. “They’re more mobile than ever and consider technology to be a central part of their lifestyle.”

Hotels constantly trying to improve their guests’ experience are now putting their money towards tech – by spending as much as 6% on of total revenue on technology, according to Hospitality Technology’s 2017 Lodging Technology Study. We should start to see some amazing technological updates become apart of the norm for guest experience in the coming years.

Here are our 2018 technology bets:

CONNECT | Mobile Messaging

Texting is the most widely and frequently done activity on a smartphone, with 97% of Americans texting at least once a day according to Pew Internet. Hotels are realizing the importance of messaging to build loyalty, increase guest engagement, and enhance the overall guest experience. Hotels now want to be where their guest is – in the palm of their hand.

We see hotels investing more time and resources into messaging guests – via SMS, branded apps or through social media messengers. Over the next few months, we expect to see more hotels offering guests the ability to text or message their staff directly, whether that be through their own proprietary apps, the use of third-party technologies, or through established messaging channels like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

Last year, INTELITY released its Messaging Solution, a unified messaging portal that provides hotels with a way to communicate with their guests through SMS and Facebook Messenger. 

hospitality technology trends - mobile messaging

CONNECT | Mobile Key

Today, a growing number of hotels worldwide are already meeting guests’ expectations and demands using Mobile Key, a solution in the INTELITY Guest platform. Mobile Key works within the Mobile App solution and enables mobile check-in and mobile check-out, and keyless entry functionalities that today’s hoteliers are looking for and today’s guests are asking for.

hospitality technology trends - mobile key

Presented through a mobile app, guests can book a hotel, skip traditional front-desk check-in by checking-in remotely, and use the Bluetooth capabilities of their smartphone to unlock their hotel room door. 3 out of 4 consumers surveyed in the 2017 Customer Engagement Technology Study say they would like to use innovative and new technologies to interact with hotels and that it would positively impact their overall experience.

Hoteliers budgeting for a hypermobile, personalized engagement strategy in 2018 will find that Mobile Key equips them with the avenue to meet their guests’ expectations and demands while satisfying their staff needs.

ENGAGE | Voice Request

eMarketer projects that by 2019, there will be 52.8 million smart speaker users in the U.S. As homes become smarter, so will hotels. Hotels will start adopting this technology to allow guests to use voice commands to control room lights, room temperature, submit guest service requests and more. Many hotels are already taking the leap to include this technology in rooms: According to Bloomberg, Marriott International is testing iPads running Apple’s Siri and Amazon Echo’s in its Aloft hotel in Boston; Wynn Las Vegas plans to outfit more than 4,700 rooms with Amazon’s, artificially intelligent, voice-activated assistant, Alexa.

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SERVICE | Enhanced Staff Software

Technology can play a huge part in maintaining a higher level of organization and accountability. The benefits of using software to help hotel staff run the hotel will become a huge asset in maintaining a seamless guest experience. By using INTELITY’s mobile version of INTELITY Staff, hotels can increase efficiency and improve their ability to track and deliver services to guest anywhere on their property, as well as, allowing guests to make requests that go directly to the appropriate department and staff member. Technology will become so standard that we wonder how hotels survived before.

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It’s safe to say all these technologies will take the travel experience to a new level and give excitement to guests, driving loyalty, repeat business, and increased revenue.

Millennials Aren’t the Only Guests Hotels Should Be Focusing On

Baby Boomer Travel On The Rise

Although Millennials continue to dominate the hospitality industry, staying atop of trends and hotelier’s minds, there is another demographic that has come into the limelight. By 2025, seniors will account for 11% of the world’s population, and industry research finds that Baby Boomers spend a whopping $157 billion on trips every year.

Since the Baby Boomer generation is so large, their impact on the hospitality industry definitely should not go unnoticed.

With Technology, Baby Boomer Travel On The Rise

Technology has arguably made travel an easier prospect for everyone – Baby Boomers included – from the ease of booking travel to the ease of researching and comparing trips, to staying connected on the go. In fact, 84% of Baby Boomers book their travel online.

Millennials aren’t the only guests hotels should be focusing on. Generations play a major role in shaping traveler research habits and priorities – and research shows that technology is a prevalent demand in each generation.

While vacation is a perfect time to unplug and get away, that does not necessarily apply to the entirety of a trip. With 59% of younger Baby Boomers (aged 51-59) and 46% of older Baby Boomers (aged 60-69) owning smartphones (according to Pew Research), it comes as no surprise that 55% of Boomers say having their smartphone is essential while traveling.

baby boomer travel trends

What does this mean for your hotel?

Here’s how your hotel can attract and optimize their experience for this generation:

  • Most Boomers are looking for a laid back and relaxing trip to give them the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, so creating fun-focused offers can keep your Baby Boomer guests happy.
  • By offering seamless, easy-to-use booking experiences, hoteliers can make sure they capture Baby Boomers. Hoteliers can also make sure that the Baby Boomer guest continues to have a seamless experience before they arrive by offering pre-arrival guest requests.
  • 41% of Baby Boomers will book online at the hotel website and most Baby Boomers are a part of at least one loyalty program. By having a loyalty program, you can improve guest retention. Baby Boomers also appreciate loyalty programs because they often provide added incentives for booking again, with rewards increasing linearly with more purchases.
  • Create an experience tailored to them by giving Baby Boomers control over their entire experience. With INTELITY’s in-room tablets, it makes it easy for Baby Boomers to have access to room controls or order room service via their in-room tablet.

99% of baby boomers will take at least one trip leisure trip a year. Between traveling 5 or more times per year (with at least 1 international trip), spending upwards of $157 billion on travel, and controlling more than 70% of disposable in the United States by 2017, Baby Boomer travel will continue to make an impact on travel and tourism.

Your hotel can yield significant returned by optimizing guest experiences for each generation. By understanding what travel statistics reveal about Baby Boomer behavior, you have a better tool to create customized marketing messages and guest experiences.

How to Make Your Guests Feel At Home During the Holidays

Your hotel can be a part of your guest’s happiness by taking just a little extra effort to make your guests feel at home during the holidays

Hoteliers must do whatever it takes to get travelers’ attention during such a busy time of year for travel. Your hotel can be a part of your guest’s happiness by sprucing up your hotel with festive decorations and by having special offers. But sometimes, it takes just a little extra effort to make your guests feel at home during the holiday season.

Here are some tips on how your hotel can stand out from the rest:

Consider the Details

Being a good hotel is all about those few, important details that let your guests know you are happy they are there and that you want them to be comfortable. INTELITY’s In-Room Tablets can be used to create a more personalized guest experience. The guest’s name will be featured on the dashboard and the landing page holds a collection of selections, including newspapers and magazines so that your guests do not miss anything while they are out of town.

Your hotel can have a personalized video introduction appear on the in-room tablet, letting your guest know that you appreciate them for choosing your hotel during this holiday season.

Courtsey of Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Create a Festive Environment

Your hotel can provide a space for some of the same traditions that your guests do during the holiday season while simultaneously getting a boost in revenue.

Leading up to the holiday season, Boston Harbor Hotel ran a pop-up whiskey bar special to boost revenue. Push notifications were sent out to guests via the hotel room tablets stating, “Tell your friends you are going to be late to dinner,” along with the bar’s hours. Within an hour, the hotel recorded revenue intake of over $700.

Prepare Early to Make Your Guests Feel At Home During the Holidays

By using your mobile guest app, you can check in with your guests before they arrive for their stay and see if there is anything that they might need or if they have questions. You can help your guests take care of last-minute holiday shopping needs or make dinner plans. During the holiday season, most shops and restaurants have special holiday hours. Be ready to answer questions like: “How late will the stores be open on Christmas Eve?” or, “Which restaurants are open for brunch on New Year’s Day?”

By anticipating any potential needs beforehand, your hotel can be better prepared for your guest’s arrival.

Have Fun

Embassy Suites Denver Southeast hid an Elf on a Shelf doll around the hotel common areas during the 2013 holiday season. They asked guests to take a picture of the doll when they saw him around the hotel and post it on the hotel’s Facebook page. The hotel marketed this campaign through Facebook, flyers at the front desk, table toppers in the dining room and organically gained 21 new fans through the short campaign. The Elf on a Shelf post also increased their reach to 2,669 people!

Know Your Area

The holidays often inspire a barrage of special events. Know what is going on around your hotel and assign someone to research all local events to provide guests with a complete list of activities available during their stay using the hotel’s mobile guest app. Remember, during the holiday season most shops and restaurants have special holiday hours. Being able to keep up with current events makes your hotel seem more alive and organic.

As travelers gear up to hit the road this season, the tips outlined here will your ensure your hotel is ready to provide a memorable holiday experience. Your hotel will present a personality of cheer, which will allow guests who are excitedly preparing for the holidays, to identify with your brand and feel more at home.

‘Tis the season to get those rooms booked!

The New Standard of Luxury – 6 Trends Were Falling In Love With for Uber High Tech Hotels

As the tech boom continues to roll out, the hotel industry has gotten into the game as well, offering the best for guests in the latest gadgets, services, and conveniences. Hoteliers are able to play up the luxury aspects of technology while doing away with inconveniences customers have gotten used to over time. While updating an old school business model, hotels are finding ways to create more efficient operations through new tech innovations.

Curious as to what you’ll find in a hotel of the future? Check out some here:

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Direct to Room – Mobile Key & Mobile Check-in

Smartphones have the potential to do away with one of the biggest pain points of staying in a hotel: Remembering their hotel key. Guests having access to their hotel room key through the use of their smartphone allows them to go straight to their room once they arrive at the hotel – no more waiting in a long line at a kiosk to pick up their key after a long plane or car ride to your hotel. At Park Hotel, in Valkenburg, guests are able to securely access their hotel room, check-in ahead of time and notify the hotel of their arrival time – making late check-in manageable for hotels and allowing guests to feel right at home once they walk in.

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Streaming Their Own Device

The key is to integrate technology in the hotel experience as naturally as it is integrated into our everyday lives. With INTELITY Casting, a casting solution for hotels, guests can have the freedom to stream content from their own device or log into their personal Netflix and Hulu for the duration of their stay. No longer will guests be barraged with the in-house channels or have to pick from limited on-demand video options

Robotic Service

At the Aloft hotel in Cupertino, California, guests who request a toothbrush or razor from the front desk will find Botlr, a short servant-on-wheels, delivering it to their door. 22% of hotels in Hospitality Technology’s 2016 Study said robots have real potential in the hospitality industry. Relay robotic concierge from Savioke was named first runner-up “Most Innovative Hospitality Technology” at HTNG’s 2016 TechOvation Awards. Relay autonomously delivers amenities to guest rooms, and the technology is already being used at select Aloft Hotels.

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(image via savioke.com)

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Messaging

Hotels are using more technology to enable a higher level of service. When it comes to reaching their guest, sometimes it’s just as easy as saying “Send us a text.” Guests can easily use their phone – using SMS or Facebook Messenger – to request items, services and ask questions seamlessly. With more and more hotels looking for ways to create a more personalized experience for their guests, this is just one way for them to drive two-way communication.

hospitality technology trends - interactive displays

Interactive Displays

According to Hospitality Technology, interactive walls received 36% of respondents votes for futuristic technology most likely to take hold. The Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel will feature gesture-controlled, interactive digital displays in public spaces. Using a variety of technology including motion detectors, projectors, and 3d cameras, the firm created a “living” wall that interacts with guests and responds to their movement.

Is This The End Of The Hotel App?

Is it too late for the hotel app to catch on among travelers or is there still hope for hospitality to use mobile for innovation?

There’s an app for that! The phrase became popular after Apple introduced the App Store in 2008 (the same year Intelity went to market), signaling the start of the golden age of apps. Years later, hotel apps have finally become a major focus for investment among the hospitality industry. But has the hospitality industry waited too long to embrace the mobile hotel app?

There has been recent speculation about the role that apps will play in the future.

There are more mobile devices than humans on the planet.

App downloads have steadily decreased in recent years. Nearly half of smartphone users reportedly don’t download any new apps at all.

But mobile technology itself is more popular than ever. There are more mobile devices than humans on the planet, and the number of devices is growing more quickly than our population. Not to mention, the average smartphone user checks their phone incessantly throughout the day – an average of 85 times per day in fact.

In reality, apps are NOT dead. Mobile users are still spending a lot of time within apps, and not only on their smartphones. Apps are also popular on many other devices, even TVs.

What has died is an easy opportunity for app developers or brands looking for a mobile connection with consumers. With about 4 million different apps available, mobile users are selective with the limited real estate in memory on their devices. Most use an average of only 26 apps in total. In fact, 70 percent of all app usage is spread among only the top 200 apps.

“You’ll still interface with wearables/robotics and features using apps.”

Current interest has shifted to chatbots as a means to open two-way communication between brands in industries like hospitality and customers, enhancing the significance of hotel apps.

One industry commentator observes, “Apps become ever more important in a smartphone-centric wearables/robotics/voice-controlled/artificial intelligence-dominated world. You’ll still interface with those wearables/robotics and features using apps.”

When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the incorporation of bots into popular video and text messaging app Skype, he said, “Intelligence is infused into all of your apps.”

Hotel apps must have obvious value. They must be worth the time it takes to download and engage with them. They should provide a fluid, thoughtful experience that serves the best interests of the end-user by providing them with convenience, benefits, and a voice that is heard by the brand they want to interact with.

A hotel app has great potential to aid in cultivating satisfied, loyal guests if hospitality can figure out how to embrace innovation and prove to guests that this category of apps is designed with their best interest at heart. Features such as Messaging, Mobile Check-In/Out, and Mobile Key are a step in this direction, but it’s up to hoteliers to become more forward thinking in taking advantage of the opportunity that mobile presents to create a much-needed refreshment in the guest experience.

New Report: Guests Demand Investment in Hotel Technology

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.

Hotel Technology at Boston Harbor Hotel

Read about this hotel technology love story in the heart of Boston at the iconic Boston Harbor Hotel.

Arching majestically over the Rowes Wharf, the Boston Harbor Hotel is renowned for impeccable service and personalized attention to hotel guests that rivals any other luxury accommodation in the city.

The property boasts a number of different awards in recognition of the high priority placed on guest satisfaction TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Winner, Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards, U.S. News & World Report Best Hotels in the USA, etc). It’s also got the distinguishing credentials of both five stars and four diamonds.

In other words, it’s the embodiment of a love letter to its guests.

Stephen Johnston, Managing Director and General Manager, says, “We listen to our guests a lot. We’ve very engaged as a Five-Star hotel.”

It was an interest in maintaining this high level of guest engagement, and even deepening the connection, that led Boston Harbor Hotel to invest in new hotel technology through a partnership with industry innovator INTELITY. What better way to woo both new and returning travelers who wound up in the hotel’s lobby than with modern touches that facilitate communication, service, and engagement?

“When INTELITY was first sold to me, I liked it because we didn’t have much technology in the hotel, but we knew it was time to introduce some,” Stephen says.

And following the release of a customized hotel app, in addition to the installation of hotel in-room tablets in each of the guest rooms, the Boston Harbor Hotel has already noticed dramatic improvements.

Increased in-room dining revenue, reduced operational costs, and positive guest feedback was only the start of the benefits realized.

Read more about how we helped foster hotel technology love among staff and guests at the Boston Harbor Hotel.

Forbes Five-Star Hotels List Dominated by Hotel Technology

The Forbes Travel Guide Star Award Winners list is out, and Five-Star hotels appear to fully embrace hotel technology for exceptional guest service.

We’re thrilled to congratulate all of the global hospitality industry for an incredible showing in the Forbes Travel Guide 2017 Star Awards. What’s amazing is how many of the recognized hotels have fully embraced hotel technology.

For example, out of this year’s 175 Forbes Five-Star hotels, about one out of four are Intelity partners and utilize some form of guest engagement hotel technology, whether it is mobile hotel apps or in-room tablets in hotel rooms. Out of the 22 first-time Five-Star hotels making an appearance on this list, 18 percent are our hotel technology partners.

1 in 4 of the 2017 Forbes Five-Star Hotels is an INTELITY hotel technology partner.

INTELITY has hotel partners in the four United States with the largest number of Five-Star hotels (California, New York, Florida, Massachusetts) and the four international cities with the largest number as well (Macau, Paris, London, Hong Kong).

Only 11 global properties won Five-Star Awards in all three categories for Hotel, Restaurant, and Spa, and one of those, The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, is one of our celebrated hotel partners.

“This year’s Star-Rated properties — the largest and most global group in the company’s history — achieved an impeccable standard of excellence in hospitality, underscoring our overall mission of positively contributing to the international tourism industry as well as the individual hotel experience,” said Gerard J. Inzerillo, Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Travel Guide, in an official press release.

“We are excited to recognize the 2017 Star Rating recipients, an exceptional collection of hotels, restaurants, and spas with a strong culture of service.”

Training and Engaging Your Millennial Hotel Staff

Millennials will not just be the next largest demographic of hotel guests that the hospitality industry serves. They will also be the largest demographic employed in hotels.

There are a number of reasons that Millennials are hot on the radar of today’s hoteliers when it comes to marketing and general guest relation strategy.

  • Millennial travel spend will reach $1.4 trillion< annually by 2020.
  • Millennials travel more than other demographics (4.2 times per year for leisure, 4.7 times per year for work).
  • Marriott estimates 50 percent of its guests will be Millennials by 2020.

Beyond just catering to Millennial hotel guests, hoteliers will also have to create the kind of workplace that will appeal to this demographic.

Hospitality accounts for one out of 11 jobs in the world, making it the largest employer in the world. And Millennials are already joining the hospitality workforce, not to mention the fact they will be the industry’s future leaders and decision makers.

Turnover among Millennial employees results in total costs of $30.5 billion annually.

Hilton Worldwide CEO Christopher Nassetta said that one of the industry’s greatest priorities moving forward should be embracing Millennial hotel workers and aiding to ease unemployment among the 71 million global adults under 29 years old, who account for more than half of the world’s population.

Nassetta said, “These young travelers add so much value to our business [but also face] serious and unprecedented challenges, namely the worst youth unemployment crisis in modern history.”

Creating a workplace that engages Millennials is a key consideration for hoteliers moving forward, especially as turnover among Millennial employees results in total costs of $30.5 billion annually. Here are 3 points of insight on engaging your Millennial hotel employees:

  • Flexibility: Having flexible options is a top priority for Millennial employees, with 66 percent saying they would like more adjustable schedules and hours. It’s so important in fact that nearly half of Millennials would prefer flexibility to more pay.
  • Innovation: In the same way that hotel technology and apps are used in guest rooms and as part of the guest experience to engage tech-savvy hotel guests, it can be a crucial tool in bridging the gap between “old” and “new” hospitality. A survey showed that 93 percent of Millennials value technology as one of the most important aspects of the workplace. Guest-facing technology has not been the only focus on innovation. Millennial hotel staff can benefit from cutting-edge enterprise hospitality software that increases productivity, automate tedious processes, and provide useful analytics to improve performance.

“We all want to do more meaningful work in less or with the same amount of time. Technology enables us to optimize how we spend our days,” said Jeff Vijungco, vice president, Global Talent at Adobe.

“Companies can have the most amazing perks but if you’re not able to produce work efficiently with the help of great people and technology, then massage rooms and roaming ‘cookie cart’ are meaningless.”

  • Transparency: Open communication is necessary to integrate Millennial hotel staff. Almost 85 percent said they appreciate honest feedback and open communication policy. Currently, 23 percent of Millennial employees don’t feel they have a manager who effectively communicates. By strengthening connections between your staff of all ages, you can improve performance and retention rates across the board.

Forward-thinking hoteliers will begin to strategize around updating employee policies and the workplace environment to fully engage Millennial hotel staff. Speaking to hoteliers, Nassetta added, “We have an amazing opportunity to use our engine of opportunity to make hospitality a top career choice of the future.”

Read more about how Millennials are shaping hotels and the hospitality industry in general.

For more information on how hotel technology can benefit your staff and operations, schedule a free consultation with our industry experts.

Courtesy of 15Five.com:

 

using technology to engage your millennial hotel staff

INTELITY Forecasts Hotel Technology Trends for 2017

INTELITY CEO and President, David Adelson, comments on hotel technology in 2017 and what trends the industry can expect to see on the rise.

A new day for the hospitality industry has dawned.

Hoteliers have finally recognized the significance of hotel technology and its correlation to the industry’s future success. I would say that 2016 was the year of awareness and planting the seeds for growth, with hoteliers testing the digital waters with widespread experiments involving mobile hotel apps, social media, and digital loyalty program engagement.

The future of hotel technology in 2017 will have to mark a progression in maturity for the industry. Conversations about the buzz phrase “high touch, high tech” have flourished for some time, and the next step is actual implementation in a more refined manner than we’ve seen in the past.

The move could mean a world of difference for the industry, separating properties and brands into the categories of innovative and fresh versus stagnate and out of touch.

Bigger Hotel Tech Budget

Hotel technology took a front-and-center position on the industry stage this year, with more investments than ever being made into creating a sound digital framework that extends from back-of-house infrastructure to guest-facing systems.

In fact, the average hotel technology budget in 2016 increased by 3.4 percent from only 3 years ago and now sits at about six percent. But as ROI reports come in showing the positive results of hotel technology upgrades on guest satisfaction and overall experience, justification of expanded tech budgets will become more fluid. This expansion will become more necessary to match rising guest expectations, competitive demands, and the required upgrades to support and maintain such a network of hospitality technology.

Adoption of Hotel Tech Across Lodging Segments

The primary early adopters of hotel technology fell within the luxury hospitality segment, but innovation has broadened accessibility and lowered price points, making cutting-edge hotel technology more of a reality for other segments as well. In 2016, it was actually midscale hotels that led in IT expenditure (7.3 percent), trailed by upscale hotels (6.1 percent) and luxury hotels (5.6 percent).

Overall more than half of all hoteliers reported increasing spending on hospitality technology trends and needs in 2016. Moving forward, it can be expected that all segments of the lodging industry will need to catch up to hotel guest expectations. Travelers have expressed a willingness to spend more on travel, but winning and retaining their business will be a matter of standing out and making them feel like they’re getting a quality experience. Surveys show that weak (or expensive) hotel WiFi and other digital limitations or shortcomings can hurt hospitality brand perception.

Even guests who prioritize price and budget when traveling will be looking into available packages of digital amenities with the expectation that limited- or select-service hotels will accommodate their basic needs with the same technologies so readily available in the average home. Most technologies, such as an app, are not considered to be a luxury frill anymore. They’ve become so common in the interactions between business and customer that they’re expected at this point, even from the hospitality industry.

The Rise of Hotel Guest Room Technology

A major area of focus in 2016 was mobile technology and the front desk, with hotel apps, in particular, getting a spotlight. A number of hospitality brands and independent hotels centered their guest technology strategies around the rollout of a guest engagement app. More than half of hoteliers reported having a mobile app available for guest use in 2016, and another 21 percent said they planned to develop one in the near future.

The next step for hoteliers will be to focus on improvements to the guest room experience, an area that is in dire need of innovation. Most hotel rooms still largely look the same as they did 10 years ago, but this doesn’t match up with guest expectations or desires. In the next year, hoteliers are going to need a reexamination of the hotel and its appeal to modern travelers (namely tech native Millennial travelers), and the guest room is key to this overhaul.

Hotelier surveys reveal the following sample of interests for 2017 and beyond when it comes to guest room technology:

  • 14 percent of hoteliers reportedly plan to install or upgrade in-room tablets
  • 39 percent plan to implement hotel room mobile key
  • 31 percent have an interest in room controls (or hotel room automation) systems
  • 28 percent would like to upgrade or install smart TVs in hotel rooms

Better Back-of-House Streamlining

One of the most unrealized capabilities of hotel technology, even guest-facing systems, are potential to increase back-end efficiencies in multiple departments, from housekeeping to food and beverage to marketing. Enabling staff with the technology to improve their performance, lighten their load, and provide more insight, in general, could help reduce turnover and increase hotel staff satisfaction. This could be critical to increasing guest satisfaction since staff members are the ones who have to interact with guests in a positive manner.

The industry has only touched the surface of how cutting-edge technology can be incorporated into hotel operations. The next year will be an opportunity for hoteliers to ramp up not only the surface of hospitality technology, those interfaces that directly touch guests but also the underlying framework that drives staff and procedures as well.

5 Benefits of Mobile Device Management for Hotels

With the BYOD trend in hotels on the rise, hoteliers are facing challenges in meeting the expectations of both guests and staff who are carrying an increasing number of mobile devices. The benefits of mobile are plentiful, but ensuring efficient use throughout an organization can be difficult.

Availability of mobile device management (MDM) to the hospitality industry has brought about improvements in this arena by allowing hotels to take control of the hotel enterprise mobile technology trend.

Mobile device management (MDM) is defined as a solution that allows for “the administration of mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablet computers, laptops, and desktop computers.” It isn’t just a hotel technology trend buzzword. As more hotels see an increase in travelers carrying mobile devices and as hotel rooms become fitted for advanced technology, such as hotel in-room tablets, enterprise mobility tools are going to continue to increase in value to simplify these hotel technology upgrades.

Remote Management of Devices

With more connected devices on your property than staff, MDM solutions assist in monitoring and managing these in a more efficient way. For instance, many hotels are now installing in-room tablets in guest rooms as a way to improve guest service and engagement. Hotel MDM is the best way to easily get these up and running, as well as perform ongoing maintenance. Using MDM in hotels, devices on the network can be remote wiped or have diagnostics run for troubleshooting.

Regulation of Applications

Hotel apps are more popular than ever and providing complimentary access to these on hotel tablets has become extremely popular in the hospitality industry. Using a hotel MDM solution, hotel management can select which apps they want to load or disable on devices across the network to create a superior digital staff and guest experience.

Data Protection and Backup

Data management using a hotel MDM solution can reduce the risk of costly incidents relating to exposure and breach. Hoteliers can use mobile device management to protect data and prevent leaks or wipe data completely from unauthorized user devices.

Expanded Security Features

Security of hotel digital networks and guest data is a top priority for many hoteliers, and there’s been discussion over how to enhance hotel security when it comes to network use, especially from mobile devices. Hotel MDM use can allow for expansion of security measures, such as requiring authentication of all devices and active monitoring of registered devices. It can also allow for tracking the physical location of devices on the network to reduce hardware theft or loss.

Establishing Network Use Policies

Every hotel should have a policy in place regarding the use of any networks, and this policy should apply to staff and guests alike. A mobile device management solution can assist in enforcing and solidifying this policy by consolidating regulation in the hands of those overseeing the network. Useful features include defining WiFi settings, setting compliance guidelines, and optimizing the function of the network overall.

Read the first part of our series on Mobile Device Management for Hotels and Hospitality for more on the specific uses of this hotel technology trend.

Why Mobile Device Management for Hotels is a Major Hospitality Technology Trend

With the hotel technology trend of BYOD among hotel guests and staff on the rise, the hospitality industry is finding that mobile device management (MDM) for hotels is a necessary investment.

More than half of your guests will carry 3 or more devices with them when they come for a stay, and you can bet that all your employees are also equipped with a variety of devices, from smartphones to laptops.

We’ve entered an age of mobile hospitality, and all hoteliers must now be nimble enough to meet guests where they’re at: on devices that are capable of keeping them connected and informed anywhere in the world.

These mobile devices enable guests to manage the full, end-to-end travel experience, from the research phase to booking to the actual hotel stay. Features such as mobile key, mobile hotel check-in, digital maps, virtual concierge, and social media access have all made smartphones and in-room tablets invaluable to guests, while enterprise features such as digital guest request management and data views from integrated hotel systems have created demand for new hospitality technology among hotel staff as well.

All these devices have created new demands for connected “smart hotels” that provide sufficient hotel networks, WiFi and security for all on premises.

It’s one of the leading hotel technology trends and promises to assist hoteliers in staying on top of hotel guest and staff BYOD.

Some of the MDM features for hotels that could improve the mobile hotel guest and staff experience include:

  • Device and platform detection
  • Policy compliance monitoring
  • Mobile app management and permission setting
  • Security implementation
  • Remote software updates
  • Remote wiping of device data
  • VPN configuration
  • Remote device locking

In the second part of our series on Mobile Device Management for Hotels and Hospitality, we’ll go into specific benefits that can be realized through the use of an MDM solution.

For more information on how hotel technology trends like MDM can give you a competitive edge when it comes to improving the guest experience, schedule a demo with our industry experts.

 

Hilton Looks to Replicate Success of Conrad Concierge Mobile App

Hilton is looking to bring digital guest services to its entire portfolio in the same vein as the Conrad Concierge app did for its Conrad properties.

Hilton Worldwide is looking to increase its focus on mobile technology as a way to more competitively connect with the hotel brand’s guests. Hotel mobile technology has become the premier method for hospitality to reach guests in a way that is direct and immediate. It’s also unobtrusive, given that downloading a hotel app or opting in for communication is required before a connection can take place.

In 2012, Hilton launched Conrad Concierge with number one hotel app developer Intelity as an experiment. It was the first service-enabled hotel brand app made available, and it surpassed 180,000 users in less than two years.

A number of factors, including the success of Conrad Concierge app and the surge of hotel guest demand for mobile technology, have now led Hilton to begin a roll out of a new mobile strategy to engage guests through a hotel app similar to Conrad Concierge. The roll out will include a number of Hilton’s brands, such as Waldorf Astoria and DoubleTree.

The hotel app aims to increase sign ups for the Hilton HHonors loyalty program and provide innovative mobile concierge services to guests. Mobile is also viewed as a way to be competitive against indirect room bookings using channels such as online travel agencies like Priceline. Access to a suite of mobile features will serve as an incentive to get guests to download the app.

Using the hotel brand app on a smartphone, hotel guests will be able to pick a specific guest room, use mobile check-in, open the door to their hotel room with a mobile key, and access digital hotel services.

In an interview with The Drum, Geraldine Calpin, Hilton Worldwide global head of marketing and digital, said, “We are using digital to create a better stay experience, and we will continue to innovate in that digital hospitality experience because for us it’s about a better experience.”

“In some cases, people don’t want to talk to people, so enabling digital and technology to provide guests with more choices and control over their stay is what we want to do. The big thing is how can we make that easier and with less friction for our guests.”

(Video: John Vanderslice, VP of Hilton Worldwide Lifestyle & Luxury Brands, talks to Bloomberg TV from Intelity on Vimeo.)

Hotel Tablet Technology Drives Revenue and Efficiency

Hotel staff is able to leverage hotel in-room tablet technology to improve service and increase hotel revenue.

Adoption of touchscreen tablets in restaurants has increased over the past few years as reports are released supporting their usefulness in improving business and making customers happy. Numerous chains have been so impressed by pilot runs with restaurant tablets that they’ve expanded the food and beverage technology into hundreds of locations.

But these benefits are not just for kiosks and tablets in restaurants. Hotels have been able to translate the same principles to leverage in-room tablets for hotels and kiosks for a wide array of competitive advantages. Here are a few of the proven results possible from the installation of hotel guest room tablets.

Increased Hotel Revenue

The general numbers don’t lie. The ease of use provided to customers by hotel tablets when it comes to completing tasks like reviewing menu items and placing orders, whether in the guest room or dining at the hotel restaurant, promotes better sales. Studies show the user experience of tablets causes higher sales conversions, more so than on desktop computers, laptops or even smartphones. Businesses using tablets for ordering have reported higher average check amounts and a 15-percent increase in tips.

Improved Hotel Marketing & Upsell Opportunities

Hotel tablets allow for the presentation of full menus with visuals that can be accessed in only one or two taps of a finger. Guests are able to scroll through numerous items with automatic electronic prompts to add on. A guest ordering an in-room dining meal might be encouraged to add a bottle of wine or fitting side to order before submission. One chain was able to increase the sale of appetizers and desserts by 20 percent thanks to the use of tablets for ordering meals.

Enhanced Hotel In-Room Entertainment

The state of hotel room entertainment has shifted in recent years due to hotel technology trends, such as mobile device use by guests for streaming content and announcements of hotel brand partnerships with modern media companies like Netflix.

Hotel in-room tablets can add to the hotel in-room entertainment experience by providing guests with another means of control and personalization of the guest experience. Tablets can be used to stream movies in the hotel room, play games, read digital newspapers and magazines, or browse the Internet. Reports are that at least 1 in 10 tables opts to order premium content such as unlimited games on touchscreen tablets when available, which shows further potential for expanded revenue intake for the hotel.

More Efficient Staff Operations

Tablets are being implemented in the hospitality industry at large, and one of the major draws is the improved operational efficiency. Hospitality tablets are able to “[expedite] the whole process [of food ordering]” as well as “[cut] down on labor costs.”

For instance, hotel tablets running on the INTELITY hospitality technology platform are able to electronically send all tickets to appropriate departments, which can then be managed and tracked to fulfillment through a single back-end portal. Hotel managers are able to review service performance and make changes as necessary to improve speed and efficiency.

Investment in Improving Guest Experience Reduces Costs

The cost of providing guests with better customer experience in hotels is far outweighed by the returns possible from such action.

Improving guest experience is vital for the success of a hotel, but there are still questions surrounding the potential returns on investing in hospitality customer experience, especially as guests’ preferences have evolved after the past decade to include hotel technology and innovation.

Hotels that have a better guest experience than competitors realize higher revenue and customer retention, according to studies.

Guests who have positive previous experiences spend 140 percent more than those who have negative ones.

Also, customers who give high ratings for previous experiences have a 74 percent chance of still being a subscribed customer a year later, which is nearly 30 percent more than a customer with a poor previous experience.

And despite fears about the costs associated with guest experience technology, improvements are shown to reduce overall hotel costs. Telecommunications company Sprint reported a reduction in customer care costs of 33% due to initiatives that improved customer experience.

A 5-year study of various companies showed that those providing exceptional customer experience performed 128% better than those not focusing on improving customer experience and enjoyed smaller loss on returns.

What next? Contact our team to develop a guest experience strategy that will help you increase guest satisfaction, generate revenue and improve operations.

For more information on how hotel technology can give you a competitive edge when it comes to improving the guest experience, schedule a free consultation with industry experts.

Travelers Prefer Mobile Hotel Technology to Toothbrushes

Are hospitality technology trends innovating hotel rooms quickly enough to maintain guest satisfaction at peak levels?

Mobile hotel technology is a hot topic when it comes to hospitality technology trends and the future of the industry. Report after report has established that hotel guests love mobile devices for engagement and guest service, such as through a virtual hotel concierge.

Travelers now carry more mobile devices than ever (three to four on average for business travelers). And 60 percent of general global travelers say they wouldn’t vacation at all without a mobile device, while nearly 4 in 10 say they’re more dependent on mobile devices when on vacation than at home.

Mobile devices are more important to your hotel guests than anything else in their suitcase, according to new surveys. Items that ranked below or equal to mobile devices in importance:

  • Car
  • Deodorant
  • Laptop/PC
  • TV
  • Microwave
  • Coffee
  • Social Networking

What about the Millennials in your hotel? Mobile phones not only ranked above these items for the majority of them but also toothbrushes and the Internet. Mobile technology is so vital to your hotel guests that nearly half in any age demographic would reportedly give up alcohol to recover a smartphone that was taken away.

With information like this, why is it that some hotels offer toothbrushes and toothpaste but still haven’t invested in fully incorporating mobile technology into the hotel guest experience?

It’s been about a decade since the first iPhone was released. The time for hotels to embrace mobile technology is now.

New mobile hotel technology, such as hotel in-room tablets and hotel apps, are more readily available than ever. And the potential ROI of mobile technology in hotels far outweighs the initial investment required.

Hotel guests are already showing a strong positive response to new mobile hotel technology, including both hotel apps and hotel in-room tablets.

The Crawford Hotel in Denver, Colorado, placed hotel tablets in all of its 112 guest rooms and also made a hotel app available for download to guests’ personal devices. Guests are able to use this hotel technology to send requests with the hotel staff, look up information, stream music, and read digital newspapers and magazines in the hotel rooms.

A year after opening, the hotel reported a positive impact on both guest engagement and communication with hotel staff. More than 3,000 total guest requests were sent via personal mobile devices, mainly smartphones, to the front desk and 41 percent of the hotel’s bookings were mobile.

The hotel aims to stay on the leading edge of hospitality technology trends by adopting mobile key sometime soon to expedite the guest check-in process and improve guest satisfaction even further.

It’s a fact. Guests love mobile hotel technology. So instead of offering your guests toothbrushes, consider offering them what they’ve shown they really want: mobile engagement.

The Science Behind Hotel Tablets and Increased Revenue

New research is showing why placing tablets in hotel rooms can generate increases in revenue for the hospitality industry.

Hotel tablets don’t just add a “wow” factor to a hotel lobby, restaurant or guest room. For some time now, our company has heard incredible successes among our clients, from average guest usage rates upwards of 90 percent to improved scores toward AAA Five Diamond status.

Significant ROI associated with hotel tablets has also been reported, especially regarding increased in-room dining and room service revenue.

The Inn at Penn, a Hilton hotel in Philadelphia, saw increased revenue only months after installing hotel tablets with INTELITY Guest in guest rooms. Greg Stafford, the hotel’s general manager during the installation, said hotel tablets contributed to a 12-percent increase in average room service checks and a 10-percent increase in room service usage.

And now it seems science is reinforcing what our customers report.

Psychologists have suggested that people place a higher value on things they own compared to things they don’t. Even before purchase, people develop feelings of ownership toward an item if they touch it and tend to buy these items more frequently.

A series of new studies have taken it a step further by looking into the “interface psychology” of shopping on devices, or how mobile technology impacts consumer behavior.

Apparently, even indirect physical touch creates a sense of ownership that encourages purchase, which applies to consumers using touchscreen tablets to place orders. The effect of placing the items in their hands through a tablet makes them feel more possessive toward it and more inclined to complete a sale.

“I think our impulse levels might be a little harder to control when we’re tablet shopping than when we’re computer shopping. We’re just touching it. It’s right there. We already feel like we own it,” said Stevan Adam Brasel, one of the Boston College researchers who conducted these studies.

A report related to their research also showed that visual details tend to matter more than text during tablet shopping. It states, “Changes in interfaces can be as important as changes in content.”

Overall, this research has important takeaways for hoteliers looking to create a digital experience for guests using innovative technology like hotel tablets. Allowing guests to use hotel tablets when they place orders creates a more personal buying experience and leads to more conversions and higher revenue.

Are Hotels and Millennials Connecting?

Hospitality is searching to find out, what do Millennials value in hotels?

The relationship between Millennials and hotels has become a large part of the conversation when it comes to the future of the hospitality industry. This is largely due to the growing spending power of Millennials in regard to the hospitality and travel industry.

“The number of Millennial travelers is significant and growing fast. It appears by 2017 Millennials will outspend baby boomers on hotels,” said Jason Dorsey, chief strategy officer of The Center for Generational Kinetics.

Many Millennials haven’t yet developed long-lasting loyalty to any particular hotel brand, making guest engagement critical between the hospitality industry and Millennial demographic. In fact, hospitality has one of the lowest reported levels of engagement with Millennials. Only 20 percent of Millennials report feeling fully engaged by the industry.

So what do Millennials want?

Hotels targeting Millennials have realized how different modern expectations are of hospitality. Impacting this has been the emergence of tech-savvy brands such as Uber and Airbnb. Such modern brands are capable of delivering a strong, multi-platform digital experience that engages target groups where they are most active – on mobile devices and on social networks such as Snapchat and Instagram.

Digital experience is proving to have a primary impact on Millennial engagement and satisfaction, according to recent reports, and numerous industries are capitalizing on this, from retail to banking.

Mobile is currently at the center of it all. Millennials are using mobile technology to interact with brands for more convenient communication and service, a trend that doesn’t end when it comes to hospitality. Embracing mobile technology is key for hotels to win Millennial loyalty.

“It will require a redefinition of service – one that offers Millennials tremendous choice, speed and personalization based on their individual preferences. Providing such tailored service not only means accommodating consumers’ use of smartphones but for operators to leverage their own mobile devices to better serve them,” said Ray Carlin, Vice President of Solution and Strategy Management at Oracle Hospitality.

The evolution of hospitality to accommodate Millennials in hotels is evident in a number of recent developments, from the move to introduce keyless room entry to the installation of in-room tablets at hotels for self-service functionality.

New hotel brands, such as Marriott’s Moxy, Best Western’s GLō, Starwood’s Element, Hilton’s Canopy, and Hyatt’s Centric, are being created to appeal to young Millennial travelers, or at least those with the modern Millennial mindset when it comes to travel. It’s an attempt to create the kind of guest experience that will lure Millennials and build loyalty with this segment of travelers.

The common thread among these Millennial hotel brands seems to be a focus on coming across as trendy, hip, and adventurous, with in-room amenities, pared down to those that are a necessity or enhance convenience. For example, most of the best hotels for Millennials are being outfitted with limited closet and desk space, clean design, and hotel technology features such as extra electrical outlets, strong WiFi connectivity, mobile device charging ports, self-service tablets.

Price often comes up in the conversation about Millennials and hotels, with the demographic being identified as prioritizing low cost over much else.

As Millennials continue to mature and enjoy increased financial power, the hospitality industry will certainly see more changes to attract and satisfy this group in the future.

 

Hospitality Technology Forecast: Hotel Cloud Technology on the Horizon

New hospitality industry needs have reinvigorated interest in hotel cloud technology.

Hotel cloud technology has been a topic of interest for some time, but it’s becoming a leading hospitality technology trend thanks to the acknowledgment of its numerous benefits and a push to accommodate the growing needs of tech-hungry guests.

What is the cloud? Cloud computing is defined by IBM as “the delivery of on-demand computing resources over the Internet on a pay-for-use basis.” The cloud is web-based, which frees hotels from having to rely on direct connections to onsite server hardware.

This flexibility is the basis for the popularity of the cloud computing model. Cisco projects that within the next two years, 86 percent of workloads will be processed by cloud data centers rather than traditional ones. More than half of those will be Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) workloads.

Benefits of cloud technology in hotels include:

  • Scalability: Cloud technology offers powerful technology that can match the needs of any hospitality business, whether it’s a global brand or independent hotel.
  • Reduced costs: Thanks to a pay-by-use model, you’re able to keep costs at a minimum and avoid heavy investment in internal IT support.
  • Enhanced self-service: Cloud computing allows you to manage most of your own needs with minimal IT support.
  • Broadened accessibility: You can get into the cloud from anywhere using remote login, making it much more convenient than traditional servers.
  • Faster onboarding: The process of getting started is expedited when you use hotel cloud technology rather than onsite servers.
  • Improved maintenance: Updates and releases are able to be installed much more quickly on an ongoing basis. There’s also the ability to develop a more robust disaster recovery plan to back up systems.