Coronavirus posed a pause in the hospitality technology industry. However, on the porch of recovery, businesses should consider the future direction of hotel technology trends
In 2020, COVID-19 suddenly appeared to shut down the golden era of the travel and hospitality industry, when travel and tourism claimed to be the unsmoked industry. Recently, several countries, in which economies remarkably lean on income coming from visitor expenditures, are struggling with recession and cash shortages.
From an optimistic context, COVID19 accelerate the technology advancement, reaching a new horizon, especially in the hotel and hospitality industry. The term touch-free and contactless absolutely dominate the IT market, where the technology trends in the hospitality industry aim to provide customers with remote access to the front desk and eliminate direct communication. As a result, automation, mobile apps for hotel, cloud-based IoT technology would still be the mainstream in hospitality trends 2020. Otherwise, mobile device technologies and Big data are heavily contributing to future strategies to revive the hotel business.
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1. Guest app and services automation
As an alternative type of customer relationship management software (CRM), guest apps currently operated as efficient tools to hotels keeping in touch with their customers. In which the guest app could be custom developed to be suitable for specific hotel needs. Via the mobile app development, hotels can instantly send information, promotions, push notifications to remind customers about the brand. Additionally, connecting via mobile devices offer more flexibility and convenience to customers. In the past three years, guest apps for hotel might not be a significant concern to the hotel owners since they executed customer care via traditional channels. Fortunately, it was over that the guest app currently is claimed as leading future hotel technology trends that rarely hotel ignore it.
On the other hand, the trend of services automation also pushes the innovation of hotel tech into a new horizontal. It reduces human task and eliminate unexpected errors or latencies during check-in and check-out process. In many big hotel chains, a remote check has been applying to replace the receptionist. In which customers could choose to advance check-in via the guest app with more convenience and time-saving. Moreover, automation eliminates human touch, which deters the spreading of COVID19. As the pandemic cannot come to an end, services automation fully be the future vision in hospitality industry trends.
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2. Smart Hotel applied IoT technology trends
With a hand from the Internet of Things (IoT), technology and software solutions transfer hotels becoming a giant machine with a high level of accuracy in performance. Accordingly, every stuff inside the hotels could be managed by a united system that managers could instantly detect even minor incidents. Customers refer to enjoy more benefits due to this hotel trends. They could have a custom hotel room with the color of their favorite curtains or a large TV screen in the window. The smart hotel technology aims to offer customers with a high level of satisfaction via customizing experience. By which, hotels get to advance in bran identity, then rapidly growing their businesses.
3. Voice search, Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR)
Virtual assistants like Siri (Apple), Alexa (Amazon), Cortana (Microsoft), and Google expectedly support the domination of voice search globally. Not only providing answers, those virtual assistants currently could access the reservation system to book hotel rooms for their masters without human touch with mobile devices. That’s why every hotel software system these days has integrated voice search as a fundamental function to better adapt to this technology trend.
Additionally, photos and videos display to indicated hotel services might not satisfy customers anymore. VR and AR technology are leveraged to offers audiences more authentic experience services from another side of the internet. With the rapid development of VR and AR, customers would expect to interact with hotel room elements in real feels without really coming to the hotel.
4. Facial recognition trends for a high level of privacy and cybersecurity
With Facial recognition, the technology world would step into a novel era, which expectedly enhances cyber securities and privacy rights of customers. In particular, roundly 75% of hotel businesses are facing with data leakage. A resort in America confesses that it has suffered an attack of stollen 11 million guest data in 2019. As a result, cybersecurity is not only challenge customers but hotel owners as well since it could damage the reputation businesses have built. In this case, facial recognition has developed as an effort to protect users’ privacy.
5. The empire of Robot and AI in Hospitality industry trends
Services robots have not stopped behind the screen of block-butters anymore. Currently, a project of Alibaba, a giant IT enterprise in China have proved that robot and artificial intelligent (AI) are the future of the hotel sector. Accordingly, Robots could replace bellman to carry guests’ baggage or automatic transfers customers’ suitcase between two close locations.
On the other hand, the emerging trends of AI could contribute to customers care, providing instant answers for general considerations of customers. Alternatively, AI is also available in the hotel system in several ways:
- Collecting, managing, and analyzing data
- Quickly identify users’ preference for supporting contextual services.
- Contributing to improving performances of marketing activities as an application of data analytic
- Enhancing high level of customization and personation across services providers
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6. The exploring of SaaS and APIs
The investors among travel and hospitality had gradually changed their desire. Instead of putting money in building physical hotels and resources, they seemingly appreciate supported tools and technology platforms, promising to add efficiency and optimization in the hotel’s performance. Evidently, hospitality startups have accelerated this hotel technology trend by successfully fundraising this time.
Take Mew Systems as an example, which is a startup focusing on the cloud-based management system. This business offers a tool, commonly known as software as a service (SaaS) to help hotel owners break through the fierce competition when listing in an online booking platform like Booking.com or Airbnb. Mew System had end Series B with a total of US $33 million. Another SaaS example names Zingle, offering a platform for guest messaging and reduce the time for guest check-in. This company was added US$42 after an M&A deal with Medallia last year.
Alternatively, for those hotels demanding for custom software development instead of using SaaS, APIs offer diver options for cutting edge features. In general, APIs refer to a software solution developed by a third party, allowing a dedicated development team to add to their products as parts of software functions. Using APIs, the time for developing software could be extremely reduced, while the custom system could be compatible with other software solution systems. In the hotel service context, leveraging APIs, hotel owners could handily connect the CRM system to upsell software, or even integrating with the point of sale software (POS).
7. The emerging of Big data
With a high volume of customers served every day, the hotel technology sector tends to be the most beneficial from Big data innovation. Especially with giant hotel chains, big data could provide tools to improve profit management strategy, which boost the efficiency of sale and marketing activities. Big data offers hotel manages the ability to react, interpret, and disseminate with an enormous volume of data collected hourly.
A typical player as Revinate, which is a hotel tech company delivers clean guest profiles. In which raw data coming from multiple sources would be aggregated and cleaned into rich value profiles, providing a comprehensive picture of hotel technology industries to leaders.
8. Online Travel Agencies and Digital hotel business
It will not exaggerate to conclude that online travel agencies (OTA) have the hardest hit under the shadow of COVID19 spreading. A giant OTA, Booking.com had to cut down its 4,00 staff since most travelers canceled their plan due to healthcare concerns. Likewise, the S&P 500 reported losing roundly 30% of its profit in the first half of 2020. Fortunately, the hotel technology sector is currently in a way that more rely on direct booking instead of capturing booking from OTA. As a result, the term digital hotel becomes more common.
In recent years, popular hotel brands have broken with traditional selling channels to join the vibrant online booking market. The challenge is that they are not willing to depend heavily on OTA but taking control of the whole business flow. They own strong brands, financially abundant, and power selling channels that technology expertise refers to the only thing that giant lack. For rapidly adopting the IT advance, digital hotels were born to capture the application of APIs and white-label software development solutions.
The next-gen hotel so calls Hometels, which indicates the combination of hotel and home. Whereby businesses are trying to turn hotels into custom lodging. Presently, the empire of Hometels will see the emergence of AI and virtual concierge, attracting many real estate businesses entering the market.
Final words, COVID19 undoubtedly weakened innovative trends in the hospitality industry, sending hotel owners to the dark period of the century. This time only technology could save the industry recently. We hope the above hotel technology trends will inspire you to achieve a strong recovery shortly.