With all the developments and the changes that COVID-19 brings, I believe that one of the advantages that this crisis has made is the rise of technology advancement amidst the situation. Almost all the industry is going digital now. And if you are the CEO of these companies, the initiative you will commence is to adapt to these challenges quickly.
For the hotel industry, they already started a few years back but they must also need to navigate this period of uncertainty especially on the MICE (Meeting and events) by collaborating with the technology companies that will help them step up with other competitors while maximizing the experience of the guest.
Here are the five technology trends already utilized by some hotel chains to improve their guest experience:
1. Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR):
We have seen a rise popularity in AR or VR initially in gamification, but now travel and tourism companies adapted the trend. These technologies are purposely being managed either for content marketing or to enhance the customers’ experiences.
- Augmented Hotel Environments- A good example for this hotel is the Holiday Inn, where they created an augmented reality hotel experience, by pointing the guest’s smartphone to look into realistic simulated representations of famous celebrities in the hotel.
Another example of a hotel using AR is in Best Western Kelowna, which focuses on the interaction among the kids and virtual depictions of animal and sea life experiences within the vicinity of the hotel property.
- For Virtual Reality- Marriott Hotel recently utilized VR for a just married couples outside of New York City Hall to give them a glimpse of different locations through their 4D virtual reality stations. This depicts a nice marketing strategy for the Marriott property.
New York Marriott Marquis and London Marriott Parklane also launched their in-room virtual reality Travel Experience through VService App in collaboration with Samsung Electronics America. Once checked-in , guest will request for a VR Headset and earphones and it will be available on loan for 24hrs.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI):
AI is behind many evolving smart technologies that builds brighter future for companies. There are three major categories of AI: (1) Machine Learning, (2) ChatBots or TravelBots, and (3) Robots. With this AI, operations which typically involve human involvement, can be programmed, thus speeding up practices while boosting quality and performance and reducing costs.
One good example of the AI Robot is called as Connie which is presently seen in Hilton Hotels as the first Robot Concierge. In collaboration with IBM, Hilton implemented the use of Connie, a robot who were able to help the guest with regards to the tourist information.
3. Internet of Things (IoT):
IoT brings a lot of significant contributions in shaping the future of the travel and tourism industry. According to Spain’s Hotel Technology Institute (Instituto Tecnológico Hotelero, or ITH), they verified that the Internet of Things “is going to be the major transformative factor in the personalization of the customer experience over the next few years.”
- Interactive Smart Rooms. Hotel rooms are continuously shifting based on guest expectations and developing technology that individuals used to at home. For example, Hilton is experimenting with the idea of “smart rooms”, where the in-room experience is personalized specifically for you. Guest were able to interact with the room’s thermostat or control the television in the room.
4. Voice Technology:
Voice technology is another rising digital innovation that has become the most disruptive force to hit businesses as more and more consumers shift from typed-in search to voice interactions. Few hotels has started to use voice technology and among them are: W Austin of Marriott International, Kimpton Alexis Hotel, and Westin Buffalo.
- Volara, the leading hotel voice technology provider has collaborated with many hotels which includes The Westin where it actually adopts the advantages of using voice technology from guests. The purpose of the usage of this technology is to make the guest personalized request seamless from personal greetings, restaurant recommendations and etc.
5. Big Data:
Big data is where the large volume of data was stored. Nonetheless, volume of the data doesn’t matter, but what’s important is how they are going to use the data for their marketing campaigns.
One good example of this is the Meliá hotel chain who started to use big data to get information about their guests so that they can figure out their target for marketing campaigns. Primarily, they check their database to look at the guest’s amount spent, purpose of trip, the country of origin and cross-checks this information with public data from government sources to develop the most appropriate customer profile and achieve a higher success rate. This way, they make a better analysis for their campaigns to increase their effectiveness and improve the investment required for these campaigns.
Which among of these advancements of technology do you like most? If you have any suggestions or recommendations, feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.