Comfortable accommodation, warm-hearted hosts, and excellent service are still the essentials of a good stay. Changes can be seen in the way hoteliers use technologies to enhance the guest experience and manage the hotel. But what are the next major technological trends in the hotel industry? Here comes an overview of the most important hotel technologies in 2018!
Trends that will remain in 2018:
Hotel Trend #1: Digitization as a Strategy
For a few years now, the hotel and hospitality industry has been working on digitizing their processes, whether in booking, communicating with guests or working processes in the front and back office. The trend in 2018 is clearly towards digitization being a fixed component of the business strategy in order to take full advantage of its benefits. According to the benchmark study “Digitalisierungsindex Mittelstand” by techconsult on behalf of “Deutsche Telekom”, the number of companies that integrate digitization into their business strategy has tripled compared to last year to 32 percent. Another 41 percent run individual digital projects, such as guest wifi or online bookings. With a digitization index of 52 points, the hospitality industry is still slightly below average but has increased by a total of three points within a year, thus driving customer relations, productivity and turnover. So digitization has become much more than just a trend: a strategy!
Hotel Trend #2: Digital Communication & Guest Experience
Guests like a personal approach and modern technology. By using a few digital tools, hotels can make the Digital Guest Journey more efficient, more tailored to guest’s needs and more individual. Technologies (e.g. hotel software, digital guest folder, mobile hotel app, hotel newspaper, hotel TV, WLAN landing page, digital travel guide, digital personnel management, real-time messaging, chatbots, etc.) improve the guest’s experience, increase satisfaction and guest loyalty and reduce work load. Most people today prefer to send text messages or search for information on the move instead of calling. The more touchpoints a hotel uses the more likely it is to match the guets ´s preferences. Digital communication tools are no longer just an option, but an effective way to communicate.
Trends to come in 2018:
Hotel Trend #3: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is THE Trend 2018! Since artificial intelligence (AI) is quite new, many companies are still planning and experimenting with it. Processes and actions that previously required humans can now be replaced or supplemented by automated artificial intelligence. Computers can store huge amounts of data and even imitate human interaction through programmed algorithms. Chatbots are an example: they answer guests’ questions immediately, help them to book rooms or manage their reservations. Such features are very promising for the hotel industry as they save personnel costs, support guest satisfaction through real-time service, especially with regard to different time zones and languages. However, human interaction will never be completely replaced by AI. What would a stay without personal contacts be like? The fact is: AI will not become a futuristic technology, but a supporting and effective everyday tool.
In the next part, read more about technologies that will have a major impact on the hotel industry: Voice control, service robots, virtual reality and the Internet of Things. Stay tuned!