With the boom in technology in this past decade, hospitality has changed immensely over the years. We live in a world where hotel technology trends have to be looked after every now and then. And many processes have been reinvented to improve our lives.
The hotel industry is also no stranger to new technology innovations in more recent years. Guest needs and expectations have changed, and it’s up to hotels to adapt to these changing guest demands and create memorable experiences.
Aside from using technology to better serve guests, hotels have seen improvements in their operational efficiency and marketing capabilities. Operations software can improve communication, save the staff a great deal of time, and even save money for the property. Hotels can also increase their direct bookings with new marketing tools that target guests on platforms they spend the most time on.
Since technology is ever-changing, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends in order to stay competitive. In this article, we’ve compiled 20 hotel technology trends that focus on improving the guest experience, enhancing your operations, and increasing your bookings.
Table of contents: 20 latest hotel technology trends
As hospitality professionals, the guest experience is easily one of your top priorities. Because of that, it’s no surprise that there are many technology trends in the hospitality industry that focus on the guest experience through and through.
Smart hotel rooms allow guests to easily personalize their rooms to fit their needs. The technology in hotel rooms enables the guest to adjust the room temperature and lighting, and guests can even stream their favorite shows through a remote or smartphone.
Such rooms can also be programmed to automatically reduce power usage during certain hours of the day. Besides, they can shut everything off in a room when guests are not present.
In a world where people are increasingly conscious of the environment, smart rooms also offer a promise of greater sustainability, and guests can feel comfortable knowing that they’re using energy sustainably.
While these rooms are a huge benefit for the guest experience, they are also beneficial to hotels because they can reduce operating costs associated with energy usage.
IoT (Internet of Things) allows various devices to be connected through the internet and controlled by one central source, such as a phone or tablet. Examples of IoT applications can include everything in a smart hotel room, digital key cards, and even voice-controlled customer service.
IoT allows guests to easily control everything in their room and personalize it to their needs. They are also useful in operations, mainly because IoT works as a smart hotel technology that can use data to identify and address issues before they become greater problems.
You may like to read: How IoT helps you Grow Your Hotel Business?
Big data is one of the most practical hotel technology trends.
To define, big data is a large collection of data that businesses can collect from consumers, which can be used to analyze customer behavior and make more informed and strategic business decisions.
You can use the insights to cater your service directly towards your guests’ needs and interests and create a personalized experience they will never forget.
In times of COVID19, interactions at the front desk should be minimized as much as possible. A mobile check-in service reduces contact between guests and employees, and this can give guests greater peace of mind.
Undeniably, mobile services is a proven future hotel technology trends.
Aside from this benefit, a mobile check-in service can speed up the arrival process and allow guests to get to their rooms faster. One way to implement this is through digital registration cards that allow guests to fill out all necessary information from their phones prior to arriving at a hotel, so you reduce any risk that comes with close contact.
Contactless payments use wireless technology to complete transactions. Customers place their card, or even mobile device, within a few inches of the reader and quickly complete transactions.
Though it was one of the future trends in the hospitality industry, businesses have been picking up on this trend. And it’s been especially useful this year for quick and contactless interactions at the front desk.
Contactless payments also reduce the transaction time, allowing guests to quickly finish up their check-in and finally relax after travel.
Read: A complete guide to cashless payments in hotels.
In a globalized world, it’s very likely that you will host foreign guests who speak different languages, especially if your hotel is at a popular tourist destination.
Of course, clear communication is essential to customer service and a great guest experience, so hoteliers need to modify their processes to overcome language barriers.
Luckily, translation devices are available to integrate into guest services, so you can communicate with anyone in their native language. It is a mandatory practice that one of the prominent hospitality technology trends.
People travel with more devices than ever before, and they’re using these devices to stream media, surf social media networks, play games, and attend video conferences during their stay.
For that reason, guests want a seamless internet connection at hotels, and it’s a growing factor of consideration when they’re making a reservation.
To accommodate this behavior, hotels should get as much bandwidth as they can, since higher-quality media requires more bandwidth to load. Some people are also looking to work from hotels as a way to get out of their homes during the pandemic (staycations), so it’s even more important nowadays to provide this service.
Stories of cyber-attacks on hotels and hotel groups are not uncommon, and even some of the largest groups have had security breaches. With the growth in the use of technology in the hotel industry comes the necessity for stronger cybersecurity practices.
Cyberattacks put guests’ sensitive information at risk, so security procedures should evolve with technological improvements.
From an experience standpoint, guests want to trust that their information is secure at all times. With the rise in working from hotels, it’s especially important that your network is secure enough for sensitive business information. From another angle, it’s also worth investing in stronger security measures so your operations and brand reputation don’t suffer the consequences.
Robots can have a wide range of uses, especially for contactless service. They can be used to greet and provide guests with key information upon arrival, and some hotels have gotten very creative with that, like this Japanese hotel staffed by robots.
Additionally, robots can also be used for room service and housekeeping services. In a world where social distancing is still very important, robots can contribute to contactless service that helps guests feel at ease.
These days, many hotels have adopted robots to provide a great customer experience.
According to a study by the World Health Organization,
9/10 people around the world breathe polluted air.
Pollution from cities, bad air quality from wildfires, and pollen during allergy season; all contribute to unpleasant air. Air filter systems can get rid of pollutants and allergens, and they can be especially useful in eliminating bacteria, mold, and viruses in hotel rooms. Guests will appreciate the breath of fresh air.
One of the key benefits of technology in the hotel industry is that it streamlines routine operations to a great extent.
Guest experience is also closely tied to some of these trends. Because more efficient staff can serve guests faster and take the extra time to really personalize their experience.
Artificial intelligence has been changing operations in many industries, and the hotel industry is no exception. It has the ability to streamline operations, taking over repetitive tasks like answering frequently asked questions.
These hotel technology trends can free up your employees’ time, so they can focus on the most high-touch and personalized service.
Face recognition technology is a type of biometric technology that is able to recognize people by features on faces. You’re probably familiar with it already, especially if you have a more recent version of an Apple or Android phone.
Some uses in the hospitality industry can include security and improved customer service. Properties can use facial recognition as a way for guests to access their rooms, and on the flip side, it can also prevent access to anyone who’s caused problems in the past.
In terms of customer service, facial recognition can help your staff identify guests in order to better tailor services and messaging to particular guests.
If you’re hosting a special guest, perhaps a high-spender or a loyal guest, this technology can help staff members identify them and treat them with extra care.
Occupancy-based sensors can reduce energy costs. These sensors can be in the form of motion detectors or thermal sensors, to name a few.
When these sensors determine that there is no one in the room, they can automatically shut off the power in those rooms. Thereby, saving you from wasted energy and the associated costs.
Occupancy based sensor helps you save your expenses and is one prominent technology trend that you must adapt.
In addition to other energy-saving technologies like smart rooms and occupancy-based sensors, hotels can save a lot of money by just updating their lighting and adding water-saving tools.
Since lighting accounts for about 25-40% of a hotel’s energy costs, your hotel can save a lot by switching to LED lighting.
In fact, LED lighting saves at least 75% of energy, and these light bulbs last 25 times longer than a traditional incandescent.
Water usage is another high operating cost, so updating to low-flow faucets and showerheads can save a lot of money, without sacrificing the water pressure that guests want.
For hotel marketing, the key focus should be direct bookings, instead of third-party booking sites with high commission fees.
Here are some ways you can adopt new hotel technology trends to improve your marketing:
People don’t seem to like phone calls as much as they used to. For the hotel industry, this change can be huge.
Many of your guests will appreciate the opportunity to text you rather than calling the front desk. And you can build stronger relationships with guests through their preferred channel of communication.
The benefits of text-messaging don’t end there. Conversion rates can increase by over 100% through texting with qualified leads. What that can mean for hotels is bringing more guests back directly through text message offers.
75% of people like to be offered special deals through text messagesThe Local Project
So, there’s a great opportunity for you to reach guests directly.
An easy way to implement this strategy is through Akia’s SMS Campaigns feature, and you can kiss the days of unopened emails goodbye.
If you were in a new and unfamiliar place, would you be able to get by without your smartphone? What if you need to make a last-minute hotel booking?
Smartphones have become a huge part of how people interact with the world, and their ease and convenience makes them even more popular than desktops in many scenarios.
The growing presence of mobile means that hoteliers need to optimize their website and booking processes for mobile devices.
An easy-to-navigate mobile website can capture more direct bookings, and a seamless mobile booking experience can even build customer loyalty since people will remember good experiences. Last-minute bookings are also predominantly captured by mobile, so weary travelers should be able to quickly and easily find your website on their phone and make a booking.
Another booking channel to optimize for is voice search. More and more people are using voice-activated search assistants, like Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa. It is one of the most prominent hotel technology trends.
50% of all searches will be voice-activated searches in 2020.ComScore
Since voice searches use more natural language and speech patterns than typed searches do, strategies like creating content in a more conversational voice and answering frequently asked questions on your website can help your hotel become more discoverable through voice search. If people can easily find your website, they will be much more likely to book with you.
Virtual Reality or 360-degree videos provide an amazing guest experience.
Virtual reality is a simulation of the real world using digital means. A virtual reality video tour of your hotel can be a great way to show prospective guests what they would experience from a first-person point of view and move them further down the decision funnel.
Providing a 360-degree presentation of your hotel allows prospective guests to get a better sense of the space and confidently make their reservations.
Metasearch websites collect information on different properties and compare them all in one place. Websites like Google Hotel Ads, TripAdvisor, Trivago are all examples of metasearch engines.
Advertising on metasearch sites can drive a 180% increase in bookings.
Let us tell you, these sites drive more website traffic than any other platform. Most hotels use metasearch websites to research about their competitor hotels. Whereas, most of them so taking advantage of advertising on these platforms can drive a lot more direct bookings.
Chatbots can be used for a variety of different applications, and driving direct bookings is one of them. They are rule-based or artificial intelligence-powered, and can quickly answer questions directly on your website.
With the ability to answer queries 24/7, chatbots are a great way to create a live form of communication. They encourage prospective guests to book directly.
Technology is changing the way people interact with the world around them. So, implementing new technologies in hotels can help to serve guests better, all the while saving money in the long term.
Staying on top of hotel technology trends can give you a competitive edge. So start updating your hotel’s technology today.