The Top 2018 Mobile Technology Predictions for Hotels

By Michael Schubach Strategic Deployments / Program Management Director, Infor Hospitality | January 28, 2018

There is no question that the digital revolution is here. All you have to do is look up from your phone and observe the rest of the world connected to their mobile devices with any information you want in the palm of your hand. In the hotel and hospitality industry, we have been monitoring this consumer shift carefully. While traditional practices continue to change, the core of the hospitality business is still intact: the importance of the guest experience. Therefore, adapting to this new digital frontier lies in altering the hotel industry’s expectations of what the guest experience entails while working to create more ways to meet consumers where they are.

The most obvious shift in how we conduct business, of course, can be seen in the dwindling numbers of our face-to-face interactions. The mobile universe has all but eliminated the need for some of the hotelier’s more traditional guest touch points. These touch points are now being replaced with automated processes that are custom-tailored to the wants and needs of each guest. Even age-old practices like wake-up calls are a thing of the past.

Despite these changes, it is important to remember that we are also in a time of great potential – one that will undoubtedly lead to increased satisfaction in the guest experience. The technological revolution has opened new modes of guest interaction, including more guest exchanges that can be driven by new, data-centric loyalty strategies. This potential can be extended with a solid mobile plan, which can further solidify client connection in an era where people are more loyal to their search engines than they are their brands. By putting the needs of the guest first, adapting to a technology-first approach is a no-brainer.

So, what can guests, staff, executives and others in the industry expect the digital revolution to deliver in 2018? And, most importantly, what can we do to keep pace while never betraying the customer experience?

More “Frictionless” Millennials

Millennials, who brought on the mobile revolution, are expected to make up 75 percent of hotel guests by 2020. Millennials grew up with mobile technology—they are used to having everything at their fingertips. These frictionless consumers are continuing to change the culture of the guest experience, and that goes far beyond hotel reservations.

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Coming up in July 2018...

Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.