One of the hottest hospitality trends for 2023 will be incorporating more technology in hotels. Will this be the year we see an even larger influx of hoteliers jump on the tech train?
It’s no secret the hospitality industry suffers from a systemic underinvestment in technology. Normally, hoteliers spend about 2.5% of net room revenue on technology. During the pandemic, spending on technology in hotels in the U.S. saw a significant decrease, rebounding slightly in 2021. Technology spending in Europe and APAC over the last two years has been estimated to be even worse. So, as technology is thought to be one of the top hospitality trends for 2023, will hoteliers begin investing more this year?
Hoteliers Current Challenges
There are a few key factors that will impact hoteliers’ willingness to invest in technology in hotels.
First off is the current squeeze on hotels’ profit margins. Inflation has affected hoteliers just as it has the average American. Costs for F&B ingredients and other supplies have all increased — as has the cost of labor. According to Hotel Management, wages in hospitality have risen 18% since 2019.
Additionally, severe employee shortages continued to plague the hospitality industry in 2022. Hotel Management reported a deficit of some 400,000 workers with 87% of hotels reporting shortages. While higher wages might woo some, experts believe it won’t be enough to attract and retain enough quality employees. As a result, hoteliers will have to offer employees a positive work environment that helps them succeed and feel rewarded in their job.
Lastly is the continued risk of cybersecurity. In the last three years, many of the major hotel brands, including IHG, Marriott and Hilton, have all suffered data security breaches. And it’s not just the large chains that are at risk, smaller hotels can suffer a cybersecurity breach as well.
Technology as a Solution
One of the key trends shaping hospitality in 2023 will continue to be technology. By investing in hotel technology, hoteliers can help offset some of the strain felt from the aforementioned burdens facing them in 2023.
Technology in hotels can help increase property revenue in the long run. Branded mobile apps put all of a hotel’s offerings literally right at guests’ fingertips — from promoting onsite dining options to allowing them to book spa appointments to listing all the products in a hotel’s gift shop. In-room tablets also help hotels increase onsite revenue by featuring the same offerings without guests having to download an app.
To help ease staffing shortages, mobile check-in and check-out, as well as mobile room keys help travelers skip the front desk and head right to their rooms upon arrival. This alleviates long lobby lines and helps front desk staff focus on other tasks. Mobile room keys also decrease the amount of guests stopping by the front desk asking to replace lost plastic key cards. Mobile apps and smart-room tablets both allow guests to order room service digitally, saving both the guest and staff valuable phone time. With apps and tablets, staff can focus on fulfilling and delivering orders.
By upgrading hotel technology and selecting a secure platform service provider, hoteliers can work towards preventing cybersecurity threats. Cloud-based systems feature encryption, which helps stop data exposure thanks to the military-grade encryption standards many cloud providers employ. Considering a hotel technology platform that offers data tokenization also combats against data breaches. Many platform service providers don’t store any PCI information, but instead tokenize guests’ sensitive data and send it directly to the property’s PMS.
Investing in technology in hotels will continue to be one of the top hospitality trends for 2023 and can help hoteliers overcome the obstacles facing them in the coming year. Looking to improve the technology at your hotel? Request a demo today.