At first glance, hospitality and technology might appear to be at two opposite ends of the spectrum. However, the hospitality sector, particularly the hotel industry, has historically been one of the foremost adopters of technology in all its operations.
In-room telephones in hotels are over a century old, while air conditioning has been a staple since the 1950s. Even the automated reservation system, which seems like something from the 90s, has been a part of hotel operations since 1958. And this penchant for technology isn’t going out of fashion any soon.
From smart key cards to voice-controlled electronics, hotels are today employing a wide range of technology solutions to offer unparalleled customer experiences to their guests and enhance the efficiency of their employees.
And as modern technology takes even bigger strides, hotels are looking to revamp their services with a host of even smarter technologies.
Hotel Technology Trends That Will Reign in 2022: 6 Trends
2022 has technically just begun. But already, there are quite a few technology trends that are getting popular among big and small hotels.
Here we have listed six of the most popular trends for you to look at.
- Data Analytics
It might be weird to see hotels and data analytics in the same sentence. But trust us, for there is a connection between the two.
Data analytics refers to the process of analysing loads of raw data and extracting valuable information out of it. Businesses and organisations then use this information to improve their services, predict market trends, boost decision making and whatnot.
Now, hotels serve a lot of guests throughout the year. So it is only natural that they will record volumes and volumes of consumer data. Using the principles of data analytics, hotels can vastly enhance their current set of services. They can identify the pain points of their guests, detect loopholes in customer service, run effective marketing campaigns, and the list is endless.
Already hospitality conglomerates like Marriott are using data analytics to boost their operational efficiencies. And it is only a matter of time before even the smaller hotels and restaurants start implementing it.
Thus, it is safe to say that data analytics will be a hotel technology trend to look forward to in 2022.
2. Smart In-room Electronic Appliances
"Smart" hotel rooms are a hallmark of modern hotels. These rooms come equipped with amenities such as voice-controlled air conditioners, toilet seats fitted with motion and temperature sensors, ambient lighting to suit the guests' mood and interactive televisions.
And thanks to IoT, these appliances are connected to the internet 24*7. This allows the guests to control them using either an all-purpose remote or their smartphones.
Smart in-room appliances are an aspect of hotel rooms meant to offer a unique experience to the guests. And it is needless to say that in 2022, more customers will seek this unique experience, prompting more hotels to build "smart" rooms.
3. All-in-one Hotel Apps
In the days of yore, one would have to either call a hotel or physically go to its reception desk for bookings, enquiries and cancellations. However, in recent years, hotels have switched to using proprietary all-in-one smartphone applications to ease things for guests. And 2022 will see this trend grow even more in popularity.
These all-in-one applications allow guests to do everything from checking room availability to booking rooms, making payments and cancelling any bookings.
For instance, MyCONECT offers a set of two apps, the Guest App and the Staff App, as part of its digital hospitality platform.
The Guest App offers consumers features such as:
- Personalised Room Bookings
- Valet Parking Service
- Mobile Keys to Replace RFID Cards
- Contact-less Check-ins/Check-outs
- Real-time Service Requests
The Staff App, on the other hand, is meant for the hotel staff and connects to the Guest App in real-time. It can also be integrated into any hotel PMS seamlessly. This allows the staff members to accept real-time requests from guests, oversee the room status and engage in contact-less communication with the guests.
4. Artificial Intelligence-powered Automation
Artificial Intelligence is a technology with virtually limitless implementations. The extent of its potential still hasn't been fully gauged yet. But, several industries are already using it in their daily operations. And the hotel industry is not exempt from them.
AI-powered automation is helping hotels standardize various aspects of their business. From automating check-ins and check-outs to addressing guests using chatbots, hotels are finding a lot of use cases for AI in their everyday chores. AI is also playing a major role in automating processes like room assignment, task assignment and dynamic pricing.
Thanks to AI, hotels can cut back on operational costs that they would have incurred otherwise in the absence of automation.
However, currently, AI is something only a few big-budget hotels are implementing. But, as 2022 progresses, we are bound to see a rise in the number of hotels employing AI-powered solutions, including automation. So be sure to keep a watch on this trend.
5. Service Robots
Robots replacing human workers is a scenario that has been part of many conspiracies and sci-fi plots. But this isn’t stopping the hotel industry from employing robot workers to help out with regular chores.
In 2014, the Aloft Cupertino Hotel in California, United States, employed two robot butlers to perform regular hotel tasks. In 2015, the Henn-Na Hotel in Nagasaki, Japan, went a step ahead by filling a majority of its staff positions with robots. These robots serve at the reception, carry guests' luggage and engage in conversations with them.
The above two examples might come across as more gimmicky than practical. But, they hint at the potent future of robotics in the hospitality sector.
Robots can take up not just housekeeping and cleaning tasks but also cooking. And in these post-pandemic times, many hotels are also employing robots to disinfect their properties.
Robots don't tire as much and as often as their human counterparts. Hence, they can also help hotels save several lost working hours and uplift productivity.
6. Cybersecurity Measures
Over the years, cybersecurity has evolved into a topic that every government and business out there is taking seriously. As the internet expands its reach to the remotest corners of the world, cyber threats and attacks are posing security challenges to all institutions. And hotels are not exempt from them.
Several hotels have partially or fully shifted their operations online. Hence, it becomes their responsibility to protect their as well as their guests' data from theft, leakage or corruption.
To combat cybercrimes, many hotels are implementing measures such as training their staff, adopting cybersecurity solutions, using data encryption techniques, etc. And 2022 will see more hotels get defensive against cybercrimes and employ even stricter cybersecurity measures.
Hotels have existed for over a thousand years. During this time, they have constantly adapted to the changing facets of the world, evolving their services to serve the customers the best. And in the era of modern technology, hotels are doing the same by equipping themselves with the latest technology to offer guests utmost comfort.
The six hotel technology trends mentioned here are a testament to how far hotels can go to accomplish their goal of offering an excellent customer experience. And while this list is by no means exhaustive, it gives us more than a glimpse into the future of the hotel industry and the hospitality sector.
Learn more about how MyCONECT is changing the face of digital hospitality solutions.
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