Technology will become more accessible and affordable for hoteliers and we could see AI and smart rooms become standard across the hospitality industry.
Bangkok, Thailand – Amadeus has released findings on the top technology trends that it said are ready to disrupt the hotel industry, based on its recently survey with industry leaders.
The cloud will future-proof platforms with smart, flexible systems
Ahmed Youssef, EVP Corporate Development and Marketing, Hospitality, Amadeus, said: “The rise of personalization is a major trend faced by the entire travel industry. Consumers expect more personalized experiences, from the moment they begin searching for a booking, to checking out of a hotel room.”
However, he said a challenge for personalization in the hotel industry was siloed legacy systems, built on a closed architecture. With a majority of data being fragmented, the industry struggles with guest recognition and personalization as these systems lack a complete overview.
“This is where cloud technology has the ability to solve data fragmenting, and consolidate technologies together through an open platform. By unifying systems, hoteliers are able to understand the guest profile, and preferences across all touch points,” said Youssef.
Robots will remain as a gimmick
Kenneth Law, VP of Global Sales, Banyan Tree, said while robot butlers might be the best way to receive your room service, these were no more than a gimmick.
“Using a luggage robot as an example, if you think about its application within a resort, from a terrain perspective it would be virtually impossible for the robot to follow its human leader.”
But in the future, he added these technologies would still be around, more impressive than the last. Hoteliers should instead be focusing on keeping service human, and how technology can assist humans within the industry.
“For example, if a light fixture is broken in a hotel room, they can alert the hotel staff through an app that triggers an automation flow and send a repairman,” Law said. “Technology should be used to foster an ‘information connection,’ one that helps hoteliers and empowers staff to be more productive.”
However, Artificial Intelligence and Smart Rooms will become standard across hotels
Leanne Harwood, Managing Director – Australasia & Japan, IHG, said AI and smart rooms were a trend being adopted by many hotels to create more personable, memorable experience.
“Using AI, guests are able to use voice commands to order room service, control curtains, set alarms, or even ordering additional towels,” she said. “If a guest says ‘I want to work,’ room lights will automatically adjust, the television will turn off, and the curtain will be drawn.”
She added recently the likes of Amazon were interjected into the hospitality space with a hotel specific, Alexa for Hospitality.
"This means that technology will become more accessible and affordable for hoteliers and we could see AI and smart rooms become standard across the hospitality industry,” said Harwood.
Booking the perfect hotel room will become easier through 3D/VR/AR technology
Alexis Batlle, Co-Founder and CEO, AVUXI said: “Before booking any hotel, consumers will tediously examine the room through the dozens of images provided by the hotel. However, a trend we’re expecting to see continually grow is the use of 3D, virtual reality and augmented reality to map the inside of hotel rooms.”
According to Batlle, this will improve booking in the future, as consumers will be able to freely explore the space and the facilities in a hotel.
“Further in the future, we can expect to see travellers able to also explore the area surroundings of the hotel. Overall, these technologies enable more certainty with consumers, that they’re making the most informed decision.”
Mobile usage will continue to increase by guests
IHG’s Harwood concluded that on a global scale, the industry had seen ever expanding mobile usage by our guests.
She said: “From searching for hotels, to booking, to checking-in, to browsing for nearby restaurants. Consumers are reliant on mobile when traveling.
“To accommodate this trend, hoteliers are focusing on ensuring seamless Wi-Fi network connections within hotel rooms and are beginning to develop dedicated hotel apps. Ensuring a seamless mobile experience will be critical in the future.”