HOTEL BUSINESS REVIEW

January FOCUS: Mobile Technology

 
January, 2021

Mobile Technology: Hotel Apps Lead the Way

Despite the overwhelming adversity the hospitality industry faced in 2020, there is reason to hope for a significant rebound in 2021. The promise of vaccines and robust consumer demand should be major factors in leading the way, but hotels will have to adapt to the conditions of the New Normal to ensure the health, safety and comfort of their guests and staff. At the forefront of these strategies are hotel apps. A mobile app is an essential technology at every phase of the guest experience - pre-arrival, arrival, in-room, food & beverage, amenities and departure. The goal is to make guest interactions as touch-free as possible and the app can be used to facilitate communication, reduce physical touch points, provide social distancing measures, and implement safety regulations. The app can also be used to track employee movements for exposure tracing purposes. The January Hotel Business Review will report on how some hotels are using mobile apps to offer guests and employees a superior experience and a sense of safety and protection


This month's feature articles...

Ajay Aluri

The pandemic has now set a new standard of expectations for all guests and for every hotel scale. Additionally, the pandemic has caused digital technology adoption to advance at lightning pace; what formerly took years to adopt is happening in months. This, in turn, will set more and higher expectations for the hotel industry as we settle into the "new normal." READ MORE

Michael Blake

Technology has always driven the hospitality industry with the demand to stay up-to-date on replicating a guest's normal day-to-day life while they are away from home. Given today's world, it's more important than ever for us to shine light on mobile technology that will aid in reducing physical touchpoints and maintaining social distancing measures for guests to stay safe and healthy while traveling. READ MORE

David Abraham

The new remote work era has arrived. Since summer 2020, many companies from Facebook, to Fujitsu and Siemens made remote work policies permanent. In the process, they created a new type of traveler: Anywhere Workers. Those untethered from their offices -- will make up a huge potential segment in the hospitality industry. David Abraham who has developed and run Outpost, a remote worker concept in Asia, will examine this new and growing segment of hospitality industry. READ MORE

Scott  Watson

Industry-specific mobile applications are transforming the way hoteliers manage property portfolios and day-to-day operations. Apps, alerts and mobile communications offer hoteliers remote and secure access to key business data, allowing them to work from anywhere while staying connected in real time. Making back office technology available through mobile devices, hoteliers can save valuable time and boost bottom lines through streamlined operations and powerful data management READ MORE

James Lefcakis

Mobile apps were an exciting option in guest communication for hotels until the low probably of guests keeping the apps on their phone began to hinder the efforts of small to mid-sized hotel brands. In this article we go over some successful alternatives for mobile guest services and the infrastructure that needs to be in place to properly support them. READ MORE

Frank  Vertolli

Smartphones have forever altered, mostly improved, many aspects of our everyday lives, and the travel experience is no exception. From planning and booking through check-in and on property experience, to social sharing, mobile represents a key touch point with our guests that enable connection and hospitality in new and evolving ways. READ MORE

Darren Winterford

The current post-COVID climate has enabled microlearning to adapt the way we conduct employee training and make it more effective and accessible than ever before. This breaking down of information into topical, bite-sized chunks means education becomes much easier to digest, knowledge retention is significantly increased, and hospitality employees can access training from their mobile phone in their native language. READ MORE

Ted  Horner

Does your hotel have the technology in place to capitalize on the trend? Or are you at risk of being left behind? Across industries, around the world, businesses are rapidly adapting to the emergence of new consumer expectations, which are influenced by the mobile evolution. Guests today demand a mobile experience that follows them throughout their entire journey, effectively transforming every touchpoint along the way with enhanced convenience, service, and personalization. READ MORE

Amy Draheim

Just when you wrapped your head around Instagram Stories, IGTV came out. Then came TikTok. Instagram Reels. Now, even LinkedIn is prioritizing mobile-friendly video content on their platform. Short form, video storytelling is the new social media frontier. Simply put, videos create impact that static images cannot. If a picture is worth a thousand words, video is worth a million. This article is a comprehensive and practical guide to getting started. Adapt now, or get left behind. READ MORE

Tim Peter

We expect to see some light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel in 2021. Mobile will play a key role in leading you into the light. Mobile represents the primary way guests interact with content and experiences online, even when sitting on their couch. Here's how you can take advantage of mobile to fuel your recovery. READ MORE

Norm Rose

For the hotel industry, mobile app development has always presented a paradox, especially for smaller chains and properties. Why would a traveler download my hotel's app if they are only staying for a single visit? Covid-19 has signaled a dramatic change in this approach: Mobile apps are now necessary for touchless check-in, check out and all communication with the hotel during the pandemic. Is this a permanent change? READ MORE

Joe Schwinger

2020 forced the event industry to innovate and acclimate to a new way of doing things, and revealed new growth opportunities. On November 9, 2020, Marriott International kicked off Connect with Confidence, a hybrid event with both attendees on property and virtual attendees around the country. The event was not only a showcase for COVID-era safety and hybrid event technology - it was a model for the future of the industry. READ MORE

Rod Clough, MAI

Extended-stay hotels are popular with owners and developers who prefer properties that typically experience less volatility and rely less on seasonal demand or on demand surges related to area events. While owners and operators have realized declines in both occupancy and average daily rate (ADR) this year, the mid-rate and economy extended-stay hotels have significantly outperformed the transient- and group-focused hotels. READ MORE

Joshua Zinder, AIA

The ways in which guests think of safety and cleanliness have been altered irrevocably by the global pandemic. As health considerations move to the fore of planning priorities for owners and operators, partnerships with architects, interior designers and other consultants can help secure the future of the brand image by integrating public health strategy with techniques and methods that focus on guest experience. READ MORE

Lawrence Adams

A successful mixed-use development usually includes a number of complementary uses such as retail, residential, office buildings, theaters and hotels. Each component of the development must benefit from its inclusion in the overall project and profit from its interaction with the other uses. COVID has accentuated the co-dependent dynamic and is giving new importance to the notion of don't put all your eggs in one basket. READ MORE

Ruben Mejia

As COVID-19 continues to impact the hospitality industry, hotels can expand on four initiatives to adapt to modern times. Contactless options, technology developments, green advancements, and long-lasting cleaning protocols should be considered as hotels reevaluate the customer's experience. In this article, Ruben Mejia will review these four topics and how each can apply to fitness offerings at hotels. READ MORE

Renie  Cavallari

Successful people aren't necessarily smarter, happier, or more competent. They are simply better at taking out their trash. Some of us are real trash collectors. HeadTrash shapes our reality, sucks our energy, and shifts our focus from self-acceptance and inner peace to worry and fear. HeadTrash is never helpful in any form. Change your HeadTrash, and you'll change your life. READ MORE

Martha  Weidmann

Simply put, art is good business. But the confusion often lies in how to show the business impact of art to your hospitality facility and stakeholders. Understanding the business case for art is only the first step. Here we highlight how art can influence the value of your hotel, through brand identity, creative placemaking and educating decision makers on broader benefits. READ MORE

Ilana Alberico

Spas must adopt new levels of operational efficiency to replace outdated manual practices like payroll, inventory management, and scheduling. "Smart" Technologies have the potential to improve the entire spa business model by creating algorithms for dynamic, demand-driven staffing and scheduling. In the first article of this 2-part series, we will explore best practices to leverage technology back of house. READ MORE

Michael Klong

Coffee relates to various parts of the hotel experience including breakfast. Guests base their overall experience of their stay at your hotel in part by the quality of your coffee and coffee service. The way to make sure that the coffee you serve at your hotel consistently tastes good (and tastes good every single time) is to educate your hotel staff about coffee. In this article, I will go into the details on why coffee education is so important for your hotel staff. READ MORE

Nancy Griffin

Senior living is changing: today's seniors demand resort-like amenities, healthy living, and paths to enrich the mind and find meaning and purpose. The industry is seeing explosive growth, attracting aging services and investors who want to "ride the Boomer wave." This is a look at the top trends driving growth and innovation at the intersection of hospitality, wellness, and senior living. READ MORE

Merrick Dresnin

Hospitality has been devastated by this pandemic. These last few months have been catastrophic. Is it the end? On the contrary, the best companies are preparing for the beginning. People will always travel, and that means hotels, casinos and resorts will always have guests. How do we get ready? We need a strategic focus on hiring, training and compensation. READ MORE

Greg Velasquez

An unexpected, misunderstood, and sometimes maligned generation of travelers stepped into the breach when a global pandemic threatened to shut down entire sectors of the hotel industry. Here is a closer look at millennials and the workcation phenomenon that helped many hotels during these challenging times. READ MORE

Rana  Kay

An effective, integrated content marketing strategy is more critical than ever as the hospitality industry weathers the storm of COVID-19 and adjusts to a new normal in consumer travel. With hope for recovery on the horizon, the most successful campaigns will patiently create an emotional connection through engaging, personal and thoughtful messaging while being sensitive to health and safety regulations to rebuild trust. READ MORE

Dennis Reno

For many travelers, this holiday season will be their first time taking a trip during the pandemic, and hotels should expect last-minute reservation changes, cancellations and a large volume of phone and chatbot traffic for the customer service team. In order to prepare, hospitality leaders need to ensure customer experience (CX) systems are operating smoothly to prevent overwhelmed call centers. READ MORE

David Ashen

David Ashen of dash design explores key dos and don'ts of creating memorable themed hotels and provides perspective on what works well – and what doesn't. Ashen examines the TWA Hotel in New York City, the brand new One11 in New Orleans, The Roxbury at Stratton Falls in New York's Catskills region and several others and shares takeaways on how to strike the delicate balance between cool and kitsch. READ MORE

Rick Garlick

Exploring partnerships for hotels with media players in an industry that's facing further fragmentation. Is it enough to offer access to streaming giants like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime? How are new players like Peacock and Disney Plus changing the game? What about other avenues like cloud gaming? Let's explore how COVID-19 has only made the prevalence of in-room entertainment more important. READ MORE

Herve Tardy

As if hotels didn't have enough to deal with amid the COVID-19 pandemic, cybersecurity is becoming a bigger concern. Hackers are capitalizing on the evolution of IT infrastructure and the increasingly important role it now plays in keeping operations up-and-running. In this article, we'll cover some ways to execute an end-to-end cybersecurity strategy and keep critical power assets protected. READ MORE

Coming up in November 2021...

Architecture & Design: Wellness is Key


Like every other facet of hotel operations, architecture and design firms are adapting their work to ensure the safety and well-being of both guests and staff. New ways to bring Wellness into hotel spaces are being explored and these solutions are taking on many forms. Hotel designs are incorporating more open floor plans, open air spaces, high ceilings, outdoor areas and operable walls into their spaces. Guests no longer want to be packed into tight areas. More "biophilic" elements are also being incorporated, offering guests the sense of being outdoors. Another trend is the reimagining of guest rooms to support remote work capabilities. Some hotels are converting empty guest rooms into office spaces, complete with effective lighting and suitable backgrounds for video conferencing. Dedicated Zoom Rooms are also becoming increasingly popular. The main goal is to provide guests with a positive experience in a space that feels safe and comfortable. These are some of the architecture and design subjects that will be covered in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.