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Technology

The hospitality sector is evolving rapidly, thanks to the ever-changing landscape of technology. Online tools have made it easier than ever for customers to research and book travel accommodations, and mobile apps have made it possible for them to access real-time information and services while on the go. 

In many ways, technology has made the hospitality sector more efficient, convenient, and customer-focused. And, in this month's feature, we cover some of these technological trends and feature some of our supply partners that can support you in this ever-changing field.

Making Tech Tools Work for Your Property

As technology continues to evolve, so too do the expectations of hotel patrons. Today's travellers expect to be able to book their rooms and access their reservations online, and they often choose hotels based on whether they offer free Wi-Fi. To keep up with these changing demands, hospitality companies will need to invest in new technologies.

Some of the most popular trends in the industry include online booking systems, paperless check-in and check-out, and mobile apps that allow guests to control everything from the temperature in their room to the TV channels they watch. While these changes may require a significant investment up front, they often lead to major savings in the long run. In addition, they can help to create a more positive experience for guests, encouraging repeat business and an increase in sales.

In this month’s feature, we'll take a look at some of the most important technologies used in hospitality and how they can help you streamline your operations and improve your customer experience. So, pull up a chair and join us as we explore the wonderful world of technology in hospitality!

WiFi 6

When it comes to hotel amenities, Wi-Fi is now at the top of most traveller’s list. In fact, many guests won't even consider booking a room at a hotel that doesn't offer complimentary Wi-Fi. One recent study showed that a third of guests won’t book a repeat stay in a hotel whose Wi-Fi wasn’t up to the job. And it's not just business travellers who feel this way - leisure travellers rely on high-speed internet for streaming music and TV in their room, or for planning sightseeing or onward travel. This high usage is why hotels are investing in better Wi-Fi infrastructure - so that guests can have a seamless home from home experience when they're using their devices.

The latest version of Wi-Fi, WiFi 6, offers some major improvements over previous generations. These changes might not dramatically change the way we use wireless routers or wireless networking but instead consists of many incremental improvements that stack up to be a substantial upgrade.

The first big change is that Wi-Fi 6 allows for potentially faster connection speeds. This means less time waiting for websites to load or files to download. It also supports more devices simultaneously without slowing down the network, which is essential as the average hotel customer now brings three devices with them for a stay. In addition, Wi-Fi 6 uses less power, which is great for battery life on laptops and other devices. And finally, it's more secure, with new features that make it more difficult for hackers to snoop on your network traffic.

Mobile Check-in

In today’s time-poor society the ability to skip the front desk queue and head straight to your room when you check into a hotel is seen as a real bonus to many? And with mobile check-in, you can do just that. Mobile check-in allows guests to bypass the front desk entirely, making checking into a hotel a breeze.

In addition, mobile check-in ties in with other contactless technologies that are becoming increasingly popular across the sector. For example, smart locks allow receptionists to generate and send digital keys from the property management system to guests who have checked in online. Similarly, guests can use digital ID scanner technology to scan their own identity documents during online check-in.

When it comes to hospitality, one size does not fit all.

 

Some guests prefer the personalised experience of being greeted and welcomed at the front desk, while others, especially frequent business travellers, may not want to be tied down with a particular way of interacting with your property. Whether it's through online check-in, express check-out, or self-service kiosks, today's guests are looking for options that allow them to customise their stay. By giving guests the ability to choose their own level of interaction, you can create a hospitality experience that meets their needs and exceeds their expectations.

Guest Room Technology

Guest room technology may seem like a 'nice to have' but most of the time it can result in major cost-saving for hotels and other accommodation businesses. For example, smart showers with water and energy usage reduction are powerful enough that guests won't really notice the difference but efficient enough to cut down as much as 30% of water consumption per room.

 

On top of smart energy management solutions, interactive devices like Alexa Smart Properties have enabled hotels to improve their service levels. For instance, during the busy check-in period guests can simply ask Alexa the common requests, such as 'Alexa, what is the Wi-Fi password?' or 'Alexa, where is the gym?'. This means that the front desk staff are not interrupted, allowing them to concentrate on other tasks. In addition, this type of technology can also be used to provide information about local attractions and activities, further enhancing the guest experience.

Then there are web-based room service apps for both laptops and mobile devices. Guests have the option to type in the web address or, to make the whole process even easier, scan a QR code located on their nightstand. From there, all they have to do is check out the up-to-date menu, hit a few buttons, and track their delivery – exactly like they would if they were ordering from one of the major food aggregators at home. No more waiting around for a member of the hotel team to pick up the phone, and no more worrying about whether your order will be accurate. With these new apps, ordering room service has never been easier or more convenient.

 

Finally, there’s voice-activated technology, which makes it easy for your guests to control the lights, entertainment systems and temperature in their room simply by voicing a command. Hoteliers can also program the system to handle a variety of concierge tasks, such as making restaurant reservations or ordering room service. Best of all, this technology is completely hands-free, so your guests can relax and enjoy their stay without having to lift a finger.

Machine Learning

There's no denying that artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly important in all aspects of business, but it's especially true in hospitality. The ability to carry out traditionally human functions 24/7 means that hotel owners can save significant money, eliminate human error and deliver superior service through the use of technology.

When it comes to customer service, AI has the potential to revolutionise the way hotels treat their guests. From increased personalisation to tailored recommendations, there are endless possibilities for improving the guest experience. In a competitive market where hotels are often judged on their level of customer service, this could make all the difference.

Customer service is always a top priority for hotels, and one of the key challenges is responding to customer questions quickly and effectively. Artificial intelligence provides an additional option for tackling this problem, with the capacity to assist with tasks like data analysis and, through data collection, effectively "learn" and adapt to customer interactions.

In terms of speed, AI has the potential to provide near-instantaneous responses to customer queries, which can greatly improve the customer experience. It can also be programmed to be multi-lingual, enabling you to engage with your guests in a variety of different languages. Additionally, AI can help hotels to identify patterns and trends in customer behaviour, which can be used to improve future planning and decision-making.

 

Ultimately, AI provides a powerful tool for hotels to improve their customer service operations. In fact, Al is revolutionising the way we interact with technology, from chatbots and messaging platforms to augmented reality apps that let kids find their favourite cartoon characters. This technology is even being used to help plan family holidays, with some hotels now offering AI-powered concierge services that can recommend activities and restaurants based on your preferences. And it's not just the big businesses that are benefitting from Al - smaller companies are using it to automate tasks like the booking process and market research. In short, AI is changing the way we live and work, and there's no sign of it slowing down any time soon.

It’s clear that new technology is shaping the hospitality sector as we know it, and businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve need to be on top of their game. Luckily, Beacon with several great companies that are helping businesses like yours make the most of these new innovations. Take a look at the carousel below to see some of our partners who can help you get started!

A small selection of our suppliers who can help!

1) Smart access solutions

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Whether you’re looking for a more secure way to manage guest room access or simply want to upgrade your property’s locking system, dormakaba has a solution for you. They offer a complete selection of guest room locking and access management solutions, designed to meet the needs of properties of any size.

As security requirements for the hotel industry continue to evolve, they remain committed to delivering innovative access control systems that provide security, reliability, efficiency and convenience. Their systems are easy to use and can be seamlessly integrated with smart room and energy management interfaces, as well as secure mobile access solutions. With dormakaba, you can rest assured that your property is always safely secured.