The Usage of Technology in Hospitality Industry: Exploring the Latest Trends
The importance of technology in the hospitality industry has reached its peak within the last year due to the situation in the world. All the businesses understood that they need to develop unique, safe, and comfortable offers for their customers if they want to keep the lights on. The correct implementation of technology strategies for the hospitality industry can go a long way because it helps attract customers and increase their safety, boosting income.
Besides, businesses that implement hospitality technology can see new opportunities for further development and embark on delivering a wider range of services, becoming the leaders in their sphere. Qubit Labs has decided to take a look at how the technology affects the hospitality industry to help you understand how to benefit from implementing cutting-edge solutions.
The Recent Hospitality Technology News
First things first, it’s essential to understand the current state of the hospitality market and determine what to expect in the next few years. Some of the most notable information about technology hospitality include the following:
- The hotel and resort industry’s market size is expected to reach $1,22 trillion by the end of 2021.
- 62% of the customers prefer doing their check-in and check-out activities via hotel apps.
- 73% of the visitors prefer using contactless options during their stay.
- The sales value of new robot installations in the food and beverage industry will rise to $523 million by 2022.
- 135% increase in revenue is expected after implementing new tech.
- 19% of the increase in customer service ratings accounts for the adoption of technologies.
Also, we have to point out that hospitality industry technology trends enable businesses to increase customer comfort levels. They make sure that the clients are satisfied with the variety of services and their convenience and transparency.
Picking dishes from the menu via the hotel’s app, communicating with the staff through the messengers, and opening doors with smart keys are becoming habitual. You won’t surprise anyone with a hotel room WiFi or a TV. However, if you offer an online 3D tour, use robots instead of concierges, and provide online check-ins and check-outs, your business has all the chances to skyrocket because that’s how hospitality technology works.
Let’s now see how the technology used in hospitality industry takes customer experience to another level and sets new demands for the market players.
Food and Beverages
#1 Data Analytics
It’s critical for the manufacturers and supply chains to have their processes optimized. They require the technology that will help them store and analyze their data. The technologies help to predict shelf-life and measure critical quality attributes. Data analytics allows forecasting how different factors, like weather, traffic, or route changes, influence the transportation of goods and help prevent their spoilage.
This is a demanded technology used in hospitality industry. It enables the entire supply chain to have access to the same information, helping to modify operations and reduce risk factors. It enhances visibility, and brands can use it to build a trust-based system and bolster relationships with customers.
Robots are the backbone of manufacturing facilities of different sizes and types from all over the world. They help to avoid downtime because they can run long shifts and increase output rates. Robots can handle multiple applications on a single platform to introduce new products into the production process within a shorter time. Besides, if the company has installed robots at each critical point, they can automatically pick and package orders under each customer’s requirements.
Moreover, this hospitality technology reduces product waste because the robots constantly monitor every product coming off the line. They can palletize the shelves following specific requirements, improve future operations, and make all the processes more flexible and effective.
Travel and Tourism
#3 Mobile Technology
Most of the hospitality businesses are interested in delivering outstanding services not only during the trip but also before and after it. The applications created under the customers’ needs can become the 24/7 assistants that guide tourists and help them receive a better experience. The apps facilitate numerous processes, from booking the hotels to mapping visitors through the airports.
Suppose you are a booking company, and your services are limited to booking accommodations and taking care of check-ins and check-outs. However, the implementation of mobile technology in the hospitality industry can help you become a more all-inclusive company. It’s easier for the customers to choose one company that provides different services than to reach out to multiple providers. If your app offers a set of activities or destinations to visit, you are more likely to establish strong customer connections.
#4 Virtual Assistants
Virtual travel assistants are the people who work remotely for your company and help improve customer experience by undertaking multiple tasks. They can answer messages and take calls for you, help customers book their flights, and plan travel budgets for them. Virtual assistants are handy when it comes to business travels because such clients usually have to manage several things at once and don’t have time to monitor all their plans.
When implementing new technology in the hospitality industry, you show that you value your clients’ time and ensure more convenient and safe travels. Besides, it enables reducing the number of social contacts. The customers won’t have to wait in long lines or communicate with too many people since everything is already booked for them.
#5 Big Data
It’s much easier to manage the sales and make sure the right customer receives the right product via the right channel when using big data. The impact of the mentioned information technology in hospitality industry is invaluable. It facilitates the monitoring of room revenue, current bookings, and occupancy rates. Also, the customers usually leave reviews about the accommodations, so using big data enables spotting the significant strengths and weaknesses gathered from the websites and social media sites.
Implementing the mentioned technology in hospitality industry allows for more effective strategic management because businesses can target the right people using appropriate tools. Big data empowers companies to identify the main trends, see the similarities, and determine the best marketing opportunities in the area. The technology provides means for more targeted promotional content, which results in delivering more relevant information to the clients.
#6 Contactless Tech
Contactless technologies change the way they make reservations, pay for the services, or need to turn on the light in their rooms. It’s about improving the comfort and safety of the visitors and eliminating the number of social interactions. Besides, such tech solutions help the staff to facilitate their routine operations because they reduce waiting times at the front desk, enhance personalized visit experience, increase revenue, and support management operations.
If you have a digital concierge at your hotel, it will be several ties easier to gather requests and orders and communicate with guests on a 24-hour basis. It allows the customer to book a table directly at your establishment and gives them the freedom to manage all the processes themselves, yet reducing some of the time-consuming tasks. Using this technology in the hospitality industry enables getting ideas about more personalized deals to the customers.
#7 Artificial Intelligence
You might have heard about an AI robot called “Connie,” which is a new solution adopted by Hilton to deliver in-person customer service. The robot provides tourist information to the customers and adapts to the individuals, earning from the customers’ speech. The recent trend in hospitality information technology also implies using AI-enabled phones offered to the customers. They are also referred to as travel phones and have AI-powered in-built hotel apps, promotional offers, and quick access to hotel service assistants.
Actually, a popular forthcoming hospitality technology conference, ALIS (The American Lodging Investment Summit), has several speakers that will expand on the topic of using AI. That’s why adopting this technology into your business is a long-term investment. You can gain inspiration from world-known hotels. For example, Wynn Las Vegas has recently announced that it’s planning to integrate Amazon Echo to offer their guests to control numerous facilities with their voice. At Henna na Hotel, Japan, it is expected that the robots will replace most of the staff and serve hotel guests.
#8 Increased Internet Bandwidth
An abundance of hospitality technology companies offer the hotels to take care of their WiFi to make sure it’s high-speed, and the customers won’t have to wander the room to find a spot where the connection is the best. A lot of travelers check the hotel WiFi speed before they book the room to make sure it won’t hinder their business calls, email delivery, or evening Netflix binge-watching.
If your hotel has 100 rooms., you will require 400 Mbps download and 400 Mbps upload to provide a top-notch customer online experience. Although the guests are unlikely to use all the bandwidth at the same time, it’s better to be safeguarded in case such situations occur.
#9 Face Recognition Technology
Even before the pandemic took place, the hotels started adopting facial recognition technology. Nowadays, it’s a must for businesses that want to stay competitive in the market. Such solutions reduce the necessity to use room keys or cards, and the guests will skip the lines at the front desk and enter the hotels by a simple pre-check-in with FaceID.
Payment authorization is another advantage of this solution because there won’t be any need to use cash or credit cards to pay for food, accommodations, or other services.
If you strive for managing technology in the hospitality industry in the most impactful way, you need loyalty programs. FaceID can help you with that because it can identify the guests at the check-in and automatically activate their loyalty accounts. You will offer tailored experiences to the guests and reduce the number of activities required for the loyalty program registration.
If you have integrated a chatbot, you prevent guests from wasting time finding the website and trying to reach out to customer support. Instead, they will use the messaging app that is convenient for them and choose one of the pre-written questions from the list to get an immediate answer. Besides, chatbots can offer coupons, send reminders, and auto-respond to Facebook comments.
The importance of technology in the hospitality industry is that it gives customers the feeling of being valued and appreciated, giving a more personal experience. The chatbots can ask whether the guests need help with anything or offer visiting hotel events. Also, they help you to know the customers’ preferences and attend to more visitor inquiries and questions at once.
There is a chatbot butler at Clarion Hotel in Stockholm, which helps guests with ordering room service, hailing cabs, and a handful of other hotel-related operations. Edwardian Hotels also have a chatbot called Edward, and it can guide guests to local restaurants and famous destinations and handle complaints.
Hospitality financial and technology professionals often emphasize the importance of introducing blockchain in the industry. This solution can decentralize data and make sure the data won’t go offline or gets removed by cyber-crooks. It simplifies the payments, especially those from overseas, and makes them more transparent and streamlined, increasing customers’ trust. Also, blockchain enables a shared digital database, which quickly verifies the guests by their fingerprints.
It provides direct payment to sellers and cuts out financial intermediaries. Apart from financial security, blockchain provides more accurate baggage tracking. One of the most notable examples, in this case, is BeeToken, a blockchain home-sharing platform, which offers peer-to-peer transactions and charges no commission.
Since one of the most popular hospitality technology trends is customization, the guests look for it everywhere, from their hotel rooms to their workplaces. IoT can help to improve the room service; for example, you will offer them food and room choices based on their preferences. Smart devices can also detect whether the guest is already woken up and start making a morning coffee. If the visitor has left the room, the sensors will switch off the appliances to save electricity.
Marriott is one of the notable case studies because it has teamed up with Samsung and Legrand to create a room of the future by using IoT. This room will be capable of performing various automated activities, like giving a wake-up call to the guest or setting a certain temperature for the shower.
#13 Machine Learning
Competitive pricing is one of the primary strategies for hospitality service providers because it helps them attract customers. Machine Learning can help provide services at the best price, prevent the companies’ profits from threats, and attract maximum customers. You can implement the predictive models to run the data about seasonality, local events, and local competition to identify the best time for giving certain offers.
Machine Learning can also divide the customers into smaller groups and subgroups by identifying similar characteristics. It allows delivering more tailored services and leads to happier customers, which results in higher profits.
#14 Extended Reality
The hospitality technology trends are also applicable for museums and amusement parks because the pandemic has forced them to go digital. The museums integrate three-dimensional animations with which the users can interact, create apps to explore the paintings by using smartphone cameras, and integrate the projects that bring the drawing to life. Also, there are AR installations that allow transporting the paintings to our modern reality.
As for the amusement parks, the technology in hospitality industry allows them to push the limits and open up new possibilities for innovation. For example, Legoland in New Your is about to implement an AR-powered ride that can transform guests into Lego mini-figures. As for Universal Studios in Japan, it will use the immersive power to make guests feel like they are participating in a Mario Kart race, but they won’t violate the rules of social distancing.
#15 Smartphone Apps
There is a variety of apps that connect visitors and customers with certain destinations and inspire activity. They offer information about parks, recreation opportunities, and special events based on the users’ preferences. Besides, when a person has an app, he/she won’t require printed guides, maps, or tickets, which helps you support environmental goals and cut print and production costs.
The guests have everything gathered in one place, so they won’t have to worry about losing their tickets or carrying photo passes around. Such applications also help to analyze the guest flow and better understand the changes in their behavior patterns.
Here we go: these are the most recent hospitality technology trends to look out for this year. The technology development doesn’t stand still, so we can expect more improvements to enter the market within the next couple of years.
If you are engaged in the hospitality industry and want to turn your innovative ideas into reality, reach out to Qubit Labs. We will find skilled and experienced developers for your project to make it stand out on the market.
Also, don’t forget to check out our recent articles to stay on the same page with the upcoming technological developments.