How to Improve the Guest Experience by Investing in Tech That Saves Power and Money

By Nancy Snyder Senior Manager of Hospitality Sales, Legrand North America | March 03, 2019

As smart home technology continues to permeate households across North America, consumers are growing accustomed to automation and voice-activated controls to adjust their interior environment. It's no surprise that consumers are looking more and more for hospitality settings to mirror these conveniences for a top-of-the-line guest experience.

However, in addition to remaining attractive in the eyes of discerning guests, hoteliers and hospitality executives will find an additional and very compelling business benefit to incorporating tech upgrades into hospitality spaces: hotel properties that incorporate Internet of Things technology and high-quality, tech-forward tools experience significant reductions in energy consumption, saving resources, money and time to increase net profits.

Here are seven categories for hotel decision makers to consider investing in from a technology perspective to enhance the guest experience and, ultimately, improve the bottom line.

1. Plug Load Control

Energy efficiency is one of the most challenging topics that hotel owners deal with on a daily basis. Outlets are always drawing on power unless they are directly shut off; so, controlling plug loads is one key approach for hoteliers to manage electricity consumption and reduce energy bills. It's also important for future-proofing buildings against changes in electrical codes (for example, California code already dictates that half of the receptacles in a hotel or motel guest room must be set to switch power off no longer than 30 minutes after the guest room has been vacated).

Hoteliers should look for scalable, retrofittable control systems that keep plug load devices accessible for quick use when needed (i.e., not buried behind a wall or in a ceiling or hard-wired into the electrical circuit, but rather, wiring devices that have plug load control relays inside of them; the latter can be easily moved around for future space reconfigurations and are easy to retrofit and maintain).

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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.