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.

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.