Last updated on April 22nd, 2016 at 06:42 am
Almost every industry is undergoing a technology driven change these days and the hospitality industry is no different. With the emergence of technology, it’s become imperative for hotels & restaurants to also keep up to date with the latest trends and developments and integrate them in their daily operations to offer a seamless and comfortable experience to their guests.
Here are 5 trends that are revolutionizing the way the hospitality industry works!
Hotels are slowly and steadily embracing the cloud and Software-as-a-service (Saas) model. This forward-thinking mindset is a GOOD thing for the hospitality industry! Today, the latest SaaS systems are steadily replacing on-premise legacy system and hotel IT departments. With SaaS services delivered via the Internet and hosted off-premise, there is no longer a need for the in-house IT department to install or maintain on-site equipment and hardware. Despite all the advances made in this sector, many hotel brands still hire their own development and operations teams and build what usually turns out to be incredibly inefficient and extremely expensive software.
With SaaS coming in the picture, there is no reason why hotel companies should be building their own custom mobile apps or Central Reservations Systems—SaaS vendors should fill the void for white label mobile apps and SaaS property management systems will replace today’s legacy on-premise ones. Technology companies whose primary business is building property management systems are a far better alternative than one built by a hotel company whose primary business is heads in beds. There are various chains that have adopted cloud computing, but there are many small hotels still lagging behind.
Personalized experiences have been the backbone of the hospitality industry since a long time now. An industry, which rests on service, personalization of that service is something that every guest looks forward to. From something as simple as a welcome note and flowers, personalization now has been taken to the next level with technological advancements coming into the picture. The expectations that a guest has now are really high, and it’s important for hotels and restaurants to have systems which can record all the customer preference data to enable them to provide a better, enhanced experience for each return visit. For instance, A guest visited a hotel in Jaipur for the first time, and while leaving, left a small remark about their toiletries, they were rose based and the guest was allergic to roses. The next time the guest visited, last month, she was surprised to see a special set of toiletries just for with a hand written personal note for the inconvenience last time. Such examples are only possible with the correct use of technology.
With the vast range of services that hotels offer, accommodation, restaurants, catering, spas etc, it’s necessary to integrate the software systems for each of them to get one single comprehensive database. This allows for a more comprehensive view of the revenue generated per guest and gives the hotel a chance to increase their profitability by analyzing that data. It also allows the hotel to up their services and give a personalized experience to returning clients, based on their past purchases.
4) Smart Phones & Appliances
The proliferation of smartphones is yet another opportunity for hospitality businesses to improve customer service. With everyone from a toddler to an elder using their smartphones for everything, the hospitality industry has actually turned out to be the trendsetters in this segment. And it’s not just large hotel chains that can benefit from this trend. The investment required with smartphones and tablets is very less, and even stand-alone restaurants and inns can take advantage of this trend.
There are many restaurants where you’re given a tablet with the menu and your entire order is processed via that tablet only.
Overall, guests these days are highly connected and multi-device dependent. They are increasingly bringing and consuming their own media and have become extremely tech savvy. It’s up to the hospitality industry now to adopt these technologies and offer a seamless experience to all their guests. While there is no substitute for the human touch and good food, there is no denying the fact that technology has taken over our lives, for the better.
5) Social Media Marketing & Online Reputation Management
Social Media is not just something that’s limited to Facebook and our social lives anymore. Every business, every brand these days has a social media presence, from a designer to a politician, everyone is out there, to follow trends and to create waves. Whether it’s TripAdvisor or Zomato, it’s become extremely important for the hospitality industry also to be active on social media now. Almost everyone these days goes through Tripadvisor to book their hotels, which is all about reviews and remarks. There is no escaping the power of social media anymore and it’s the same for the hospitality industry as well. The power of pictures and reviews on social media has not gone unnoticed by the hospitality industry and they’re now spending a lot of time and effort into managing their social channels to offer better services to their guests.