The hotel industry is projected to showcase strong growth by the end of 2018 and well into 2019, according to the 2018 Travel and Hospitality Industry Analysis by Deloitte. Among the growth areas, customer-facing technology will bring noticeable changes as guests have a growing appetite for convenience and technology. It’s no surprise that hoteliers are looking to invest further and today we share some of the hottest trends in hotel tech that experts believe will rule the industry for the next few years.
Treating guests based on their individual preferences and historical behavior patterns is quickly becoming a source of competitive advantage in hospitality. Guests want convenience and ease, and they expect hotels to know them better in today’s world of big data. They want hoteliers to be able to predict, and even prescribe what guests want. The good news is that technology no longer has to be compartmentalized. When integrated, it can give hotels the tools to create the individualized attention that guests seek.
The guest’s own smart phone is playing an increasingly important role in hotel stays. Technology such as NFC (Near Field Communication) is gaining popularity and hotels are using it to embrace the smart phone revolution. Today guests can check-in, book a spa treatment, request room service or housekeeping, all through their smartphones.
Once considered science-fiction, facial recognition has already found practical uses in the hospitality industry. A Property Management System (PMS) equipped with facial recognition can identify and display a returning guest’s profile to the front desk agent upon arrival. This enables staff to greet guests personally and spend less time tracking down the guest’s profile and eventually their preferences. Facial recognition can alert the staff with an on-screen prompt and eliminate the cumbersome process of looking up the returning guest’s profile.
Looking ahead, there is a growing importance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) in our industry as well. Smartphones will play a crucial role in bringing technology to guests while personalization and facial recognition will continue to delight them.