5+1 Hotel Tech Trends for 2022 & a Peek into the Future

In this article we’ll look at how technology can help you adapt to the current situation and position your hotel for continued success in the future. This includes everything from guest experience to revenue management and the streamlining of operations. We’ll examine what the top trends are for hospitality automation tech in 2022, and how you can use them to improve operations and grow your business, while also sharing some of the upcoming tech we’re excited about and how each one can be used in the hotel industry!

 

Adapting to the new reality = transformation

The COVID-19 crisis has brought about a paradigm shift in business models, customer expectations, and operational processes that are necessary for survival. The hotel industry needs to be agile enough to respond quickly to changing market conditions and customer demands while maintaining its long term strategy. In addition to the challenges of adapting to these changes however, this shift also provided us with opportunities to rethink some things and see how we can transform the industry. 

Innovation and creativity are key drivers for success in any sector but they are especially crucial for the hospitality industry as it continues to grow. And as technology gets more advanced, we’ll see more and more automation occur at higher levels of the hospitality supply chain. Digital technology is already transforming hospitality and the pandemic has only accelerated this change. Guests expect hotels to offer contactless hospitality and hotel operations have to continuously manage change in order to adapt to the new reality.

 

The benefits of automating hotel operations

Hotels already have the ability to deliver a much more complete experience through digital channels, and are looking at ways to improve their guest satisfaction by providing them with better services.

One of the strategies the industry is following, in order to improve guest experience and increase operational efficiency, is the use of innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchain, IoT, machine learning, and many more such tech buzzwords, with one standing out specifically: automation.

Automation is one of the biggest trends in hospitality right now. It’s becoming increasingly common to see automated check-in kiosks, self-service restaurant ordering systems, and even robot bartenders

hand taping on touchscreen with a photo and welcome message

 

But what does this actually mean for a hotelier?

Well, firstly, it means there’s less work to do manually, allowing hotel managers to focus their time and energy on things that generate revenue instead of taking care of mundane tasks. 

Secondly, it enables you to streamline staff and standardise processes to maximise efficiency and performance. 

Thirdly, automation brings data and with data comes insight. Having a bird’s eye-view of the inner workings of your hotel, you can make decisions with distinct clarity and improve performance to a whole new level. 

Let’s take a look at some tech automation solutions that are quickly claiming their place as the industry standard:

  1. 1. Unified Property Management Systems (PMS)

    Hotels use property management systems to automate certain aspects of their operation. For maximum efficiency, your PMS should be connected with any other systems you use to run your properties, ranging from your rooms, to the restaurants, pool, spa, and any other amenities you have. With all your guest and business information in one unified system, you can have the oversight you need to run operations with groundbreaking efficiency.

  2. 2. Booking engine integration

    Integrate third-party booking engines with your own systems means you can provide an enhanced guest experience and save money by reducing commissions paid to third parties. The best tools are also designed to help guests book rooms quickly by providing them with easy access to their desired rate and room type options, converting potential guests into paying customers. 

  3. 3. Digital Concierge & Chatbots

    Hotels are increasingly offering concierge services via online platforms. They’re also integrating these services with existing guest communication systems to provide assistance to hotel guests and minimise face to face interactions with staff via self-check in, FAQs, and online chat.
    Chatbots are another innovative tool allowing for further automation of various processes, cost cutting, and better service. But chatbots aren’t just limited to answering simple queries. Some hotel brands are developing chatbots that can take orders, sell tickets, and perform basic accounting functions.

  4. 4. Transfer Partners

    Partnering with a guest transportation company such as Welcome Pickups helps you automate guest transfers with direct connectivity to market leading PMS and Channel Managers. The hotel staff doesn’t need to be involved in the transfer booking process and operation. By automating upsells like airport transfers, you’ll boost revenue, gather valuable guest data and increase customer satisfaction.

  5. 5. Guest Engagement Tools

    Guest engagement tools like mobile apps, social media, and email marketing help you reach out to guests before and after their stay to keep them coming back. You can also automate repetitive tasks like guest registration, loyalty programs, or rewards programs. Tools of this nature allow you to create personalised experiences based on guest preferences, which will result in increased loyalty and repeat visits. 

  6. 6. Mobile Payments

    Mobile payments are now widely used around the world. According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center, almost 80% of Americans prefer paying for purchases with their phones rather than carrying cash or credit cards.

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8 disruptive tech trends we’re excited about

As the applications of technology are ever-growing, so is their applicability to different industries. While the below might not be the right fit for your hotel at this point, they’re bound to get you excited about hotel tech and give you some ideas of what the future of the industry might hold!

1. Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality

Virtual reality (VR) has been used primarily for entertainment purposes. But technology is rapidly advancing this field, allowing it to be integrated into other industries. Augmented reality (AR) is similar to VR but instead of creating an entirely synthetic environment, it overlays digital images onto the physical world through a smartphone. Hotels are using this technology to provide tours of the facilities, help potential guests visualise themselves staying at the property, and even what the view from a particular room might look like. 

2. The Internet Of Things & IoT Security

The internet of things refers to the connection of everyday objects to the web. Hotels have started equipping room doors with sensors that track movement. If someone opens the door without permission, an alert notifies the staff.

IoT Security refers to protecting connected devices from cyberattacks. Many hotels are incorporating firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems to protect against hackers.

3. Voice Interfaces

These interfaces allow users to interact with devices simply by speaking. For example, some hotels are integrating voice recognition software into their guest-rooms, allowing for full control of lighting, AC, and TV volume through simple speech commands.

4. Smart Buildings

Smart buildings incorporate technology to make our lives easier. They use sensors to monitor air quality, water temperature, and energy usage. This helps properties save money while improving comfort. This can also include remote control rooms, allowing hotels to monitor multiple locations simultaneously.

5. Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is a decentralised digital ledger of economic events. It enables secure peer-to-peer transactions anywhere in the world. In fact, many experts believe blockchain will replace traditional financial institutions. The hotel industry is using blockchain to automate payments and reduce fraud.

6. Robotics

Robots are being developed to assist humans in dangerous or dirty environments. Some robots help clean rooms, others deliver food. Hotels are also exploring how robots could work at front desk counters.

7. Artificial Intelligence

The science of creating intelligent machines can be used to automate tasks like room cleaning, restaurant ordering, and transportation scheduling. Some hotels are even developing AI-powered assistants that perform basic functions such as checking guests in, making reservations, and delivering messages.

8. Big Data Analytics

Big data analytics refers to the analysis of large amounts of structured and unstructured data. Hotels are collecting data from different sources including social media, mobile apps, loyalty programs, and payment systems. This information allows them to improve operations, predict customer behaviour, and create personalised experiences.

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