The new year will no doubt bring many new opportunities, changes and challenges to the ever-expanding hospitality industry. Over the past few years major technological innovations have transformed how our industry does business. From cloud-based solutions with seamless integrations, to personalized guest experience management, industry pioneers are pacing the way toward new, digitally-centric environments. Do your 2019 plans include these important tech trends?
- Refining Guest Experiences
2019 will see more technologies focused on making a guest’s stay as flawless as possible. Mobile technology and data analytics are making it a reality for some hotels today. Whether during online booking or check-out, mobile apps are serving as the guest’s private concierge, steering guests through their on-property journey with little effort.
Guests also seek more exclusive experiences and hotels utilize existing PMS data to help them deliver those experiences. As more savvy consumers pursue innovative wellness options including health resorts with spas, fitness programs and healthy dining alternatives. The attraction of a personal chef or private trainer enables some hotels to capture incremental revenue while creating a more rewarding encounter for the guest.
- Integrating Resort Technology
In response to industry demand, driven largely by guest expectations, hospitality tech providers are taking a more sophisticated approach to software development. Connectivity to third-party solutions into an existing PMS through application programming interfaces (APIs) facilitates resort automation. Such integration also offers a hassle-free experience for guests, for instance with online booking and channel management.
- Embracing Social Media
There is nothing like the satisfaction of having a high score on social platforms. Hotels are creating short scenes around the property to encourage photos and positive social media posts. There is no argument that an active, involved social media promotion can increase bookings.
- Enhancing Staff Productivity
While some remain on-the-fence about embracing guest-facing services like text messaging, mobile tech and lobby kiosks, other resort operators have identified how these innovations make staff jobs easier. Whether replacing the cumbersome two-way radios with a housekeeping and maintenance communication platform or providing SMS notifications directly to guests once their room is ready, early adopters are seeing the benefit of increased productivity and labor cost savings.
- Moving Above Property
One of the most important trends for a few years now, cloud technology will find a larger following among hoteliers in 2019. Those that have already shifted to cloud PMS, for example, are able to see a rise in productivity and a reduction in overhead – namely capital expenses. With less on-site technology to manage and maintain, cloud tech frees up IT staff to focus on more important initiatives that affect the guest experience.