The hospitality industry is constantly subject to the revolving door of changing tastes, design developments and technological advancements that have become the norm. Every day, new and innovative technology is being developed, in order to make hospitality an even more exciting, adventurous and tempting industry.
In the 21st century, hoteliers have technology at their fingertips and this gives them a world of possibilities – it’s all about digitalization. In the Internet of Things (IoT) world in which we live, businesses themselves must be connected, proactive and forever evolving.
Now, it’s all about finding new ways of optimizing the guest journey and making hotels and destinations much more appealing to travellers than they were in the past.
Here are some of our hospitality technology trend predictions for 2018 to make sure that you’re one step ahead of the game.
1.Mobile device as door key
It’s fascinating that a function as simple as a door key could undergo so much evolution. But the tool that once started as a carefully shaped piece of metal quickly turned into electronic key cards, and is set to shed its physical form altogether. The next evolution of the hotel key transforms it into data on a guest’s mobile device. Some leading hotels have already started implementing this, whether it involves NFC technology or visually scanning a code like many airports now do with plane tickets, this technology embraces the mobile device as being a key element to guests and further increases the demands for hotels to have good wireless internet options for guests.
2.Voice Activated Devices
According to Forbes, voice search is one of the top travel trends of 2018 and we can definitely see why. Just like VR, voice-activated devices do pose a certain challenge, being a rather new concept on the market, but so far, so good. Consumers all over the world seem to be relying on these types of devices more and more every day, for one simple reason: they make everything easier, faster and they definitely ease operations. What Siri started doing for iPhone users a few years back has transformed into an entire industry.
This can help hotels meet the needs and expectations of the modern guest. Travelers can talk to the device in their own hotel room, and they can easily communicate with staff, in the new and improved way: hands-free and voice-controlled. Guests can ask the device questions about their onsite facilities, setting alarms, as well as information about the weather and traffic. This trend further re-enforces the need for high speed networks throughout your hotel and resort, whether wired or wireless all these devices need to connect to your network and internet to provide the ultimate experience for your guests.
Samsung’s 694 Series Hospitality TV has made Smart TV capabilities more easily accessible to hotels. Its embedded cable modem enables hotels with coaxial cable, rather than Ethernet cable, to be Smart TV ready. In addition, Samsung Lynk Reach allows hoteliers to personalize the Smart TV experience, allowing guests to feel right at home. This service allows guests to stream music, movies, TV shows and more from the comfort of their hotel room, as well as informs them about in-room dining options, spa offerings, events and promotions. Your guests expect to receive an experience that is even better than they have at home, to deliver this you need systems that give them something new, fast and impressive.
Self-serve is in. Today, many guests prefer technology over human interaction for simple tasks. Remote check-in and check-out options are becoming popular, and some hotels are beginning to work with apps that let guests order room service right from their mobile devices. There’s a whole range of basic guest requests that can be automated with the right technology, which frees hotel staff up for other activities that enhance the guest experience. And the trend is only going to accelerate.
Once upon a time, people used their room phones. However, the pervasiveness of mobile devices has relegated the conventional room phone to a vastly reduced role. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a role moving forward. The room phone of the future may serve as a hub for a larger connected experience.
Imagine a guest arrives at your hotel and pairs his mobile device to his room phone. Now he can use his mobile to control the TV and the sound system, perhaps even the blinds. He can use it to request a wake up call if he finds himself out late. You can let him know that his dry cleaning is ready, even if he’s across town at a meeting. How about if he needs to take his call from your lobby into a cab, so he doesn’t miss a meeting, simple call management from Wi-Fi to 4G is seamless. These features are what the contemporary business traveller is looking for, its what makes them come back and tell people they know about their experience, you want your guests to be having these conversations and technology is a key differentiator.
6.Battle for bandwidth
A smart phone. A laptop. A tablet. An e-reader. It seems like hospitality guests bring every Internet bandwidth-sucking device they own when they travel. And whether they’re travelling for business or pleasure, you can bet you’re going to hear about it if they can’t connect as quickly and reliably as they’re used to at home. But a hotel is not a home. You have to multiply those data needs by dozens, if not hundreds, of guests—possibly thousands if you land a big conference. It’s a huge strain and one that many of the best hospitality brands are working on. Whatever your solution, rest assured, the demand for bandwidth at hotels is only going to grow.
Already popular in the hospitality space and other industries in Europe, SIP-DECT is a mobility-enabling alternative to VoWLAN and radio-based networks, that’s starting to get attention in North America. Many SIP-DECT setups bring the kind of features usually found on a fixed network to your mobile workers all over your hotel or resort without tethering them down to specific locations. Since hotel service staff, like housekeeping, valet, concierge, and event staff are often on the go, SIP-DECT a natural fit for hoteliers to keep their mobile teams in communication. With relatively low cost compared to the alternatives, ease of deployment and quality, predictable voice quality, SIP-DECT is poised to take off in a big way.
8. Data Security
Hotels are high-value targets for cybercriminals because they not only hold payment card information on guests, but also a wealth of other sensitive personal data that can be used to steal their identity. The fallout from a widespread data breach that compromises guests’ payment card data or personally identifiable information can be disastrous for a hotel chain. Security is a complex issue that requires hotel operators to ensure that they are covering all the bases to protect guests and themselves. Those bases generally involve three components: technology, staff training and communication, and communication with guests. Hotels need to consider security in terms of how customer information traverses the entire network. “You’re looking at what technology and security standards are in place at the actual hotel, but you’re also looking at the administrative requirements. It’s a combination of administrative control, physical control and technical control,” In order to protect their brand reputation and their business, hotels need to create a culture of security throughout their entire organization that focuses on protecting guests’ digital property in addition to their physical property. In an era of increasing cyberattacks, hotels can make themselves less of a target by adopting technology to ensure that payment card data and other personally identifiable information is kept secure and segregated.
Scope Logic Group have hospitality focused solutions that improve your guests experience, we offer System Health checks, Hospitality focused Consultation, and Security Vulnerability Assessments that identify gaps in your systems and provide a clear roadmap on how to improve your systems, integrate new solutions and strengthen your defence against security attacks in 2018.
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