Looking Ahead: 2019 Hospitality Technology Trends

Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo

2018 was the year of home connectivity with inexpensive and easy access to smartphone accessories that control lighting or cameras, devices that answer to voice commands and wearable technology for total convenience.  The hospitality industry needs to take notice and focus on how these technologies can complement the guest experiences, improve productivity, and increase customer satisfaction.

As hotels continue to look for ways to keep up with these advancements, there have never been so many opportunities to communicate with guests directly. In tandem, the hotel industry now has the ability to reach a new level of guest satisfaction through enhanced services. Hoteliers who take these modern technologies and work with third-party vendors to create customized software systems that fit their specific needs will be the most successful.

Growth in the hospitality industry relies on a hotel’s ability to capitalize on modernized systems and weave them into day-to-day processes in a seamless way. Here’s what we see as the three most important technologies for 2019:

1.Full integration

Travelers view their smartphone as a necessary resource while on vacation. A recent study conducted by Google found that more than 70 percent of travelers in the U.S. look to their phone as their main travel guide (i.e., where to have dinner). Hoteliers should see this as an opportunity to gain direct access to a guest and equip the concierge with the tools necessary to supplement a guest’s research and personalize the experience.

Hoteliers should choose a technology that can satisfy multiple task management needs from one platform while also being able to incorporate outside resources such as Yelp or OpenTable. The concierge team has always worked in a silo, but there is no need for that any more, especially from a systems standpoint. Today, its imperative the concierge is fully integrated into the larger operational flow. There is less room for miscommunication and fragmentation, resulting in delayed or unresolved requests.

2.Voice command

Thanks to new voice command devices like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, it’s never been easier to personalize a space. These devices are becoming a standard part of the home and soon guests will be demanding the same conveniences in the hotel room experience.  While incorporating voice command systems is an investment, hoteliers should welcome the opportunity to create a personalized experience for a guest while increasing productivity at the same time.

Both Amazon Alexa and Google Home show great potential for the industry, and hotels that take advantage of the growing trend will be ahead of the curve.  It’s an opportunity to eliminate multiple steps in a process, saving time and money. The request is immediately entered into the operations system and set into motion. It’s an incredible way to alleviate multiple steps in the process and ensure guest satisfaction.

3.Wearable technology

More than 830 million people are expected to own wearable technology in the form of a smartwatch or similar device by the year 2020. Travelers will be more connected than ever, and hoteliers need to ensure they’ve adapted to all smart technologies that apply. Paying close attention to which trending technologies could and should be applied to hotel operations is a key component in upgrading the guest experience. From being able to open a hotel guestroom to processing a payment, convenience throughout guests’ entire stay will begin to be an expectation in 2019.

As you plan for 2019, it’s important to think about how your hotel is able to embrace new technologies. Change can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. There are great hotel partners in the market today that can customize software and improve the overall hotel experience for guests, as well as staff.  In the end, it will mean increased customer service, increased employee satisfaction, and an increased bottom line.

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