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 March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.