Aditya Sanghi, co-founder and CEO of Hotelogix, a cloud-based hotel Property Management System looks at which hospitality technology trends will evolve and shape up for hoteliers in 2019:
The hype around data
Big data is everywhere- right from when we wake up in the morning and check how the traffic is going to be on our office route or at what time we will reach our destination, we are actually looking at the excellent work of big data mapping at the backend of Google maps. Our dependency on Big data, as a generation is unparalleled. And the hospitality industry is no exception to this trend.
Soon hospitality will learn to rely on data more and more for managing the finer aspects of guest experience and hotel operations management:
- Revenue management
Combining insights from PMS guest history with market rate intelligence – In 2019, we see more and more independent hoteliers adopt this approach and it will no more be a thing that only chain hotels do.
2. Management dashboards and reports for decision making
A single-view approach to take stock of all operational data is surely ruling the roost and will continue to do so in the near future. Fully customisable reports with intricate filters will also be inevitable for hoteliers to stay on top of their game.
3. Refined marketing communication to guests
With guest data being as easily available, extreme personalisation in marketing communication is but a matter of time. And the year to come promises to see a breakthrough in how hotels approach their guests, whether prospective or otherwise.
AI and predictive analytics
Hotels can use recommendation engine technology to prompt bookers to upgrade to a better room, add services to their booking like a session at the spa, holiday activities, or just about anything at all. With sufficient guest data, one could even personalise these recommendations to suit different demographics, preferences and such.
While on the topic of AI, how can one discount chatbots. Chatbots are super-efficient in building pre-arrival guest experience. Instead of expecting the guest to make a booking on a “flat” web booking engine page, you could get your chatbot to ask details like, “So when you plan to arrive at *Hotel Name*?” or “How long do you plan on staying with us?” and so on. Imagine the impact that such personalised interactions will have on your guest loyalty.
When it comes to hotel technology trends, now’s the time
For over a decade now, technology has been revolutionising the way hospitality industry operates at a rapid pace. Here are a few other technology trends that will continue to rule the roost even in the near future:
- Blockchain: Since the last time we approached this topic, there has been a lot of evolution. It does have a lot to offer but when it comes to practical application, the industry is yet to come to a consensus. Data security is definitely guaranteed, but again there are several other applications too.
- Going Mobile: A lot has been said about the benefits of mobile hotel app, but it still continues to be relevant to the hospitality industry. The progression of mobile apps is more likely to be towards enabling and empowering guests as well as staff to confidently approach ‘self-service’ options.
- Biometrics: Following the successful application of this trend across many industries, hospitality will also be embracing biometrics and recognition technology, paving way for better, faster efficiency along with unmatched accuracy. You can count on this trend for simplifying check-in & check-out as well as for expediting billing process, improve hotel’s surveillance & security, staff management and so much more.
- Customisation and Personalisation: There is no denying the validity of this trend in the hospitality industry. Nothing is as powerful as personalised service. Right from open APIs allowing more technological customisation to targeted and customised marketing initiatives, to hyper-personalised guest experiences, the options are as limitless as the possibilities.
- Integrations: When the best-in-class systems come together, your PMS becomes invincible. The myth that a reservation system alone is capable of managing a hotel is soon dissolving. Hoteliers are waking up to the real potential of a cloud-based property management system that allows multiple integrations- be it to manage your revenue, accounting, online reputation, marketing automation, etc. Holistic property management has never been this seamless and this trend is only going to get better with time.