As most people would attest, the impact of technology on our day-to-day lives has been incredible. As devices become more capable, software more innovative, and systems increasingly more automated, greater opportunities exist to implement technology across any industry. The hospitality industry in particular has seen many new technological advancements in recent years, some have become widely adopted, while some are only beginning to scratch the surface. Whether we like it or not, technology is here to stay and is already having a huge effect on the way hotels operate, and likewise, how guests utilize the technology to their benefit. Technology is becoming essential to the modern day hotel, and guests today have come to expect that many of the conveniences they enjoy at home are made available at the hotel of their choosing. With that being said, we have put together the top five hospitality technology trends that are actually achievable for hotels in 2020.
#1 – Automated Services
In today’s world, guests want to be able to do as much as they can directly from the devices that they are most comfortable with. In fact, the hospitality industry is seeing a shift in popularity when it comes to performing tasks autonomously, as opposed to dealing with hotel staff. Technology is allowing guests to check-in and check-out from their phones, and more recently, apps are being utilized to give guests the ability to order extra amenities and services from the comfort of their room. While guest communication with hotel staff can be highly beneficial for hoteliers, the trends are shifting towards less human interaction and a greater reliance on technology. However, technology is providing hotel staff with more freedom to perform value-added services such as greeting guests upon arrival, chatting in a more casual setting, and creating a more personalized guest experience as well. Throughout the hospitality industry, the expectation is that guests will be looking to do more with technology in 2020, and this trend in particular is likely to continue to grow moving forward.
#2 – Payment Technology
With the recent slew of data breaches and hacks, it is no surprise that cyber security is on the minds of hoteliers today. Having said that, many hotels will be looking to improve upon their current technology in 2020 by investing in property management software that directly integrates with payment processing solutions. As a result, hotels will be able to leverage more secure and modern payment processing methods, which not only helps to protect the hotel, but the guest as well. In addition, guests today are paying for their stay at a hotel in more ways than ever. One advancement has been the growth of contactless payments, specifically through mobile wallet apps. In 2020, hotels will be looking to upgrade their payment technology to accept payments through EMV contactless enabled terminals and near field communication (NFC) as well.
#3 – Growth of Software Integrations
Continuing along the lines of catering to the digital expectations of the modern guest, integrating hotel technologies will help hoteliers remain competitive, while enhancing efficiencies as well. While many hotels do not have the budget or infrastructure to invest in complete hotel management software or multiple solutions, integrations within their property management software can allow hotels to affordably do more at their property. Features mentioned above, such as mobile check-in and check-out and guest-to-staff communication can all be added to the current property management software via an integration. Additionally, hotels that offer services such as sales and catering or retail point of sale solutions are able to directly integrate with systems that can perform these tasks. While integrations are still evolving, the benefits are already starting to be seen by guests leveraging these tools. As such, this trend should continue to grow as we move into 2020 and beyond.
#4 – Smart Meeting Spaces
Gone are the days where a simple meeting room will be sufficient for majority of the business travelers, groups, and conference attendees. In our hyper-connected world, today’s meeting rooms are centered around technology, and that trend is likely to continue its growth. With constantly evolving technology such as smart televisions, videoconferencing, and increasing bandwidth needs, hotels will be further enhancing their meeting spaces in 2020 to meet the demands of the savvy traveler. In addition, there will really no longer be a need for dedicated onsite IT personnel, as the technology today is widely available – meaning that most users are already familiar with it. If there is a learning curve, most guests will opt for self-help videos that can quickly and easily be found online. To keep up with demand, hotels should stay ahead of the curve and begin implementing more modern technology into their meeting spaces, especially if they haven’t started doing so already.
#5 – Importance of an Online Presence
As millennials continue driving this new age of hospitality, hotels are aiming to keep up with all of the different avenues this group likes to communication through. While some may opt to call a hotel to book a room or ask a question, the younger generation is more likely to send a message through a chat directly on the website or use social media to get their message across. Hotels have begun to use social listening tools to not only track what is being said about the hotel specifically, but also to learn more about their key demographics such as what interests them, excites them, and sometimes more importantly, what their complaints are. Word of mouth is essential to the hospitality industry especially, which is why tools such as this help to gain a better understanding of the market and help drive the hotels messaging on an ongoing basis. While social media has been around for many years now, the expectation in 2020 is that hospitality industry will continue to focus on making better use of the online tools available, with the goal of providing a more positive guest experience overall.
Interested in learning more about how you can implement some of these solutions into your hotel? Take a few minutes to request a demo today, as we’d be happy to show you how the Jonas Chorum suite of property management solutions can help keep your hotel competitive and profitable in 2020!