Hospitable by Nature and Intelligent by Design: Technology Solutions for Hotel Executives

By Rahul Razdan CEO, Ocoos | April 12, 2015

Hotel executives face a challenge and an opportunity, both of which have their roots in the disruptive power of technology.

At one extreme, there are the makeshift, room-for-rent social entrepreneurs – the men and women who offer overnight accommodations (courtesy of a spare bed, couch, futon or floor) to travelers in a major city – while at the other end of the spectrum there are conventional hotels and resorts.

The latter, despite their more spacious and inviting arrangements, including housekeeping, room service, plush decorations, magnificent views and in-room entertainment; among these conventional hoteliers and high-end, five-star brands, there is a keen need to more effectively reach potential guests and adapt to this hyper-competitive environment.

The only way to achieve that goal and increase occupancy rates, without succumbing to downward pressure from less traditional players in this space, centers on two concepts: Design and data.

That is, hotel executives must invest in creating websites that capture the respective identities of the companies they represent – these sites must be as distinctive as the properties they depict, and as distinguished as the people they celebrate – so they can enhance the loyalty of existing patrons and win the attention of prospective travelers.

All the while, the principles of design must complement the power of data; the information hotel executives can readily access and analyze, to determine (and refine) the efficacy of a particular marketing campaign and customize appeals on behalf of specific individuals to developing new leads and consolidating control of certain industries.

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.