Innovations in the Hotel Industry in 2022
The hotel industry sees new new developments in its use of technology every single year. Constantly innovating to better serve its customers and assist with the efficiency of processes for hotel owners and staff, the industry adapts to the needs of a modern day world at a rapid pace. Find out more about innovations in the hotel industry, happening right now.
Adaptability during the pandemic
Keeping up with innovations is one way in which businesses are able to cater to customer demands, increase customer satisfaction and maintain a modern, up to date appearance to wider audiences. In recent years and as a result of the pandemic, the momentum of innovation in hospitality has increased, specifically due to a need for rapid changes in the way we function. Avoiding contact with other people and providing new information and updates have been two new drivers for the hotel industry in recent years.
All in all, it is safe to say that innovations in the hotel industry in 2022 are exciting and certainly worth considering in the context of your hotel. Hotels looking to keep up with developments and implement safe, modern and forward-thinking processes must keep an eye on new innovations in order to remain relevant and attractive to guests. In this article, we share a handful of innovations in the hotel industry in 2022, in hope of keeping hotel owners up to date with current trends.
Innovations in the hotel industry in 2022
1. Voice-controlled commands and searches
Hotel smart rooms might sound futuristic, but they’re certainly something to keep an eye on in the coming years. Many hotels in the world are beginning to combine AI (artificial intelligence) with voice recognition technology and therefore starting to integrate virtual assistants into rooms. One example of this is the InterContinental Hotels Group, which has been implementing this in China. Rooms at these hotels allow guests to speak naturally to an in-room device which then offers assistance. This is similar to the concept of ‘Alexa’ or ‘Siri’ whereby it is now absolutely possible to receive detailed answers to our questions using nothing but our voices. Where voice control technology goes in the coming years, is something to keep an eye on for hoteliers with an interest in innovation.
2. Mobile room keys or RFID wristbands
In an effort to move away from traditional room keys (which not only produce unnecessary waste, but which are becoming less popular due to a desire for contactless processes) technology now invites hotel owners to use mobile room keys or even wristband room keys. Instead of having guests carry around a room key, some properties are now providing mobile room keys. In essence, an app on a guest’s phone alerts them when their room is ready and allows for self check-in. Instead of waiting in line at the front desk, guests can now go straight to their rooms and use either their smart phones or watches to unlock their doors. In some Hilton Hotels, this is already being practised.
In addition, some hotels are taking this one step further to introduce wristbands which not only unlock rooms but which also hold information such as credit card details, tickets and more. Carrying everything at once in one simple wristband helps individuals to avoid contact with staff but also ensures that losing various belongings such as wallets and room keys becomes more difficult!
3. Facial recognition technology
In a similar attempt to avoid contact and streamline hotel processes – such as checking-in and out – facial recognition technology also finds a place in the hotel industry. Consumers in general are now becoming more used to the idea of facial recognition technology, specifically due to smartphone security. This has therefore ignited the use of facial recognition in other sectors. The benefits of facial recognition technology include; increased security (no one can steal this method, unlike with your phone, wristband or credit card) and reduction of contact required.
In the context of customers, facial recognition allows guests to check-in, yet the benefits of facial recognition have also been adopted behind the scenes. Staff using their face to access different parts of a hotel and check in for work in the morning, are two more ways in which this technology is currently being implemented.
4. Virtual reality room tours
One very exciting innovation in the hotel industry involves the use of virtual reality. Imagine being able to walk through a hotel room whilst located in an entirely different country, simply to check out which room would suit your needs best as a customer. A number of hotels including Radisson and Onmi have already begun implementing this fascinating technology into their hotel booking process. Not only has this seen improved online booking rates, but also improved customer satisfaction. From the comfort of a potential guest’s own home, it is now absolutely possible to view a room on a standard web browser, mobile or tablet.
The term ‘chatbot’ may for some people be received with irritation. Speaking to a robot online which doesn’t have the ability to understand your human emotions, needs or offer specific answers to your specific questions, can be frustrating. Having said this, during the pandemic and with an increased need to communicate with businesses prior to arrival (perhaps due to using hotel credit, to rebook, to request information and so on), chatbots have become increasingly useful as an extra layer of customer service for guests. Chatbots which provide useful information to guests can also relieve staff of endless email responses and phone calls. More recently, chatbots have also been implemented across more familiar platforms to guests, such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. The main benefit here is the ability to provide customers with swift answers at any time of day, through platforms which are already understood by individuals.
6. Hotel workflow systems
A survey from Software Advice found that 25% of U.S. hoteliers still reply on processes managed by solely pen and paper. Strikingly, 16% said they actually had no system in place at all. As a result of a lack of systems, come mistakes and inefficiency. When it comes to the management of your hotel, its staff, the satisfaction of guests and much more, automation and consistency is the key. That is why countless systems for all kinds of hotel processes are available on the market. Automation requires an industry-specific tool which can act as a central resource for all departments in your hotel.
At 1834 Hotels, one of our main successes with our clients comes in the form of implementing excellent PMS options, POS systems, revenue management systems, CRM and more. As a businesses managing many hotels, motels and resorts, we also have discounts available with many suppliers you may already be using. To find out more about how 1834 Hotels could bring your hotel up to date with more innovative, efficient systems, please click here.
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