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.
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.
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.
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.
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.