Peter Waters, executive vice president, hotel IT solutions of Amadeus, helps us bust the most-common myths told about hotel tech
Guest Post: Three common misconceptions about hotel technology
As technology is advancing more rapidly than ever across the world, the hospitality industry is upgrading its tech stack too. Many hoteliers are considering new technologies to streamline operations, improve the guest experience, and unlock new revenue opportunities. According to a recent Hotel Tech Report survey, 81% of hoteliers believe it’s very likely that technology will be more important for their success in the next five years.
While technology offers hoteliers the chance to modernise and position their business for future growth, there are still many misconceptions surrounding it that deserve attention. So, let’s do some myth-busting.
Myth 1: Technology makes operations more complicated
It’s common for hoteliers to fear that implementing new systems and software will lead to costly disruptions. But hotel technology isn’t about equipping staff with overly complicated and hard-to-use tools.
Modern solutions feature intuitive design and serve to streamline the processes needed to help the property run smoothly. The challenges of the job mean that leaning on technology to maximise the efficiency of each team member is crucial to elevating performance. Service optimisation tools are a great example of this.
Such solutions streamline and automate previously manual tasks or operations, freeing them to focus on the personal interaction with guests. Technology can revamp communications within a property to unlock staff potential, enabling more proactivity and higher quality service.
Think of how crucial this is for housekeeping and maintenance teams to identify and address potential guest concerns before they happen. This could be something as simple as reporting a leaky sink for repair, or dead batteries in a TV remote, to taking rooms out of service for updating. These examples are what makes service optimisation solutions critical to communicating and resolving operational issues rapidly.
Myth 2: Technology is impersonal
The hospitality industry will always have human interaction at its core. But with technology so ingrained in our daily lives, a significant number of hoteliers have understandably become wary. But the truth is that technology is being developed and implemented to complement the personal touch offered by hotel staff or the front desk, rather than replace it.
In fact, technology is helping hotels to offer their guests exactly what they want, which is perhaps the most ‘personal’ service possible. Advancements in guest personalisation have gone a long way towards making it a real possibility for travelers to book curated trips. Attribute-based selling (ABS) plays an important role in this, with smart filters enabling a level of customisation previously thought impossible. It gives guests the option to choose rooms during booking equipped with a TV, a balcony, seafront views or a buffet breakfast, which anticipates and provides for their personal preferences.
But ABS is not the only way to provide personaliswation. Current hotel central reservations systems (CRS) also incorporate advanced features to elevate the booking experience for guests. These tools go beyond the conventional process, leveraging guest profile data to promote tailored packages. By tapping into individual preferences and past interactions, modern booking engines strive to provide tailored offerings for a more engaging stay. Guest management solutions also allow guests to interact with the hotel via their preferred channel (email, text, surveys, etc.), before, during and after their hotel stay.
Myth 3: Technology is a sunk cost, not an investment
Hotel technology is much more than an expense or a sunk cost. On the contrary, it should be recognised as a strategic investment for long-term growth. Contemporary hotel technology is specifically designed to be cost-effective and yield a return on investment (ROI), which is critical as hoteliers rebuild their budgets after the pandemic.
Let’s analyze the benefits of business intelligence solutions along with digital media in their ability to drive bookings and increase revenue – even more so when they are integrated with a CRS or a hotel distribution platform.
Business intelligence solutions that provide forward-looking market insights into hotel occupancy and rates are critical to building a competitive revenue management strategy. This information can then be applied to digital marketing activities, allowing hoteliers to time when to launch the most effective promotions to convert lookers into bookers.
When combined with a modern CRS and channel manager, these solutions vastly improve the global distribution of hotels. Properties are able to reach new audiences, generating demand and revenue by making sure the property is visible across all key channels. Moreover, a strong CRS increases direct conversions by providing an optimised booking experience, while also giving hoteliers the opportunity to recapture abandoned guests with personalised remarketing emails or metasearch and social media advertising.
In dismantling the myths surrounding hotel technology, we uncover its transformative potential for the industry. Far from complicating and detracting from the daily operation of a property, modern technology streamlines day-to-day processes, enhances guest experiences through personalisation and emerges as a strategic and worthy investment. By embracing these truths, hoteliers can position themselves not only to fully recover but to thrive in a competitive, tech-driven landscape.