How 26 Billion “Internet of Things” Devices Will Impact The Hotel Industry

By David Tossell Vice President, DataArt | March 08, 2015

Part 3 of a series of 5 articles on the digital guest experience

You Say You Want a Revolution? Just watch the travel industry for a few years and you will get one…

Back in 1993 I started my career in travel marketing at a time when airlines paid 10% commission plus overrides – which travel agency owners felt was still too low of compensation. The "state of the art" in travel technology was still in companies like Sabre, Amadeus, PARS, Apollo (remember them?), etc. Prodigy, CompuServe and GEnie were dial-up services who were for the Dungeons & Dragons-playing set and AOL was smaller than those 3 trailblazing companies.

By the end of the decade, in just 7 short years, the travel world was turned completely upside down.

  • Airlines that were not at 0% commissions were quickly on their way there,
  • AOL had already peaked and was losing share to cable and DSL providers,
  • Online travel distribution was poised to be the travel industry revolution of the 2000's.

So what does my dragging you for a trip down my memory lane have to do with the digital guest experience? Well, I think it is a good way to ask you to prepare yourself for yet another revolution that is already impacting the hotel industry and will only continue to accelerate in the coming decade – the "Internet of Things".

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.