Hospitality and Travel industry has transitioned from traditional operating ways to tech-savvy operation for
- Enhancing the customer experience
These three parameters are the most important in this era of fierce and cut-throat competition.
With the growth of people traveling and ease of transportation modes facilitating the travelers to travel in an economic and comfortable manner growing, boarding and lodging spaces (hotels, motels, guesthouses, rented apartments and bungalows, etc.) have grown in numbers. This is not only increased competition in the segment internally but also forcing the industry people to adopt new and innovative ways to source customers and enhance serviceability for better customer experience.
Considering the above scenario, it is very important to analyze the hospitality and travel industry trends and impacting technologies which will facilitate the tech transition for a better tomorrow.
The customer which once had the facility to book hotels and travel tickets etc. thru a single channel i.e. telephone now has multiple options and modes that are facilitated by the growth of mobility and internet penetration. Using the above trends from booking to reviews that impact the customer decisions are facilitated by the
- Online searches for properties and transportation
- Mobile apps that facilitate anywhere and anytime searches
- Social Media platforms for analyzing reviews, recommendations, and experiences prior to booking and selection
- Online portals for doing the price analysis and mapping the same with the complimentary facilities like free Wi-Fi etc.
- Contact center approach for further assistance thru any channel of communication
These trends are bound to grow in numbers as years pass by until some disruptive technology might transition the entire scenario of technology deployment. Based on the above scenario lest we analyze few global and in house technologies which will become a compulsion for success.
The global technologies are:
- API (Application Programming Interfaces) – For customizing apps and applications to suit the customer needs
- Analytics/AI (Artificial Intelligence)/Machine Learning and RPA (Robert process automation) – will be mainly used for reactive, predictive and proactive analysis for betterment of personal services and easing up back-office processes.
- Conversational Interfaces (Chat Boats, Voice Device Services) – will be used for designing voice-activated digital assistants which will become the next major agent for answering the basic customer queries and proposing generic and personalized hospitality offers with two-way communication.
- Cloud – will be used for providing services like IaaS, SaaS, PaaS by the services provider to the banking industry how would prefer OPEX over CAPEX model which will also help them in reducing CAPEX and operational costs
- Biometrics – contactless biometric authentications for check-in check- out and payment authentications, etc.
- Internet of Things (IoT) – will be used to improve serviceability, thru predictive analysis of the data gained from the IoT
- BlockChain – will facilitate hospitality organizations to manage the accrual and frictionless redemption of loyalty points. The distributed ledger technology is secured by encryption, and it works without the need for a centralized authority such as a bank or government agency
- Augmented and Virtual Reality – will be used for facilitating decisions related to locations of travel and transport service providers based on the AR and VR feel the customers will get at the customer experience center of travel agencies as well as online videos embedded with AR and VR
- Virtual Concierge – will be used for enhancing customer experience (CX) thru a technology that can provide guests with conversational and contextual assistance.
- Social Media Platforms and Search Engines – will be acting as the major drivers which are facilitating the trends mentioned above and management and marketing of social media platforms along with SEO (search engine optimization) and SCO (search content optimization) would be the key marketing drivers
- Mobile Apps – For customer experience and guest serviceability enhancements
Having reviewed the global technologies that will be impacting the hospitality industry let us review some key in house technologies that need to be reviewed
- Mobile-enabled door lock – will facilitate guest to use mobile NFC/Bluetooth for managing the room door lock
- Seamless Connectivity – will facilitate guest BYOD’s to operate in any corner of the property
- Tech Lounges – for guest meetings using video conferencing, etc. and facilitating guest’s business needs
- IP softphone mobile apps – will facilitate the guest to locate the service personals on move thereby enhancing the guest experience
- Smart Rooms – integrate controls for Lighting, HVAC, Television, Curtains, etc. in a single app once the guest is checked supported by robust, reliable and hi-speed Wi-Fi/Li-Fi that will be facilitating ease of operations
- Location-based Services – For guiding the guest to the desired location in the facility.
The basic recommended solutions for building a smart, futuristic hotel with the paperless environment along with eco-friendly energy generation are mentioned below:
- Use of Solar and window power
- Optimum daylight usage with civil designs that comply with green building norms
- Use intelligent POE enabled lighting with control over IP
- Foundation of Converged Communication Backbone capable of handling multiple sessions of uncompressed 4K and 8K video traffic
- Connect edge devices using horizontal cabling with 40G/100G ready from day one
- Build a robust Wi-Fi and Li-Fi network ensuring seamless connectivity for BYOD, Scanners and BLE’s
- Use IOTs to integrate, building utilities, HVAC and other utilities ensuring ease of management and configuration over IP
- Use Biometric enabled check-in checks outs
- Use integrated access and surveillance solutions for better physical security which will also integrate along with Fire and PAVA solutions creating better compliance with the civic norms
- Integrate and Customize PMS using API with the applications like payment gateway, guest apps, social media, and search engines
- Based on the ROI for 5 years invest in Cloud-based IaaS (infrastructure as a Service) or design a Data Center locally and DR on the cloud support with robust security engines for data protection
- Use AV tool for information broadcasting, streaming promotional ads and back-office support
- Use UC tools for better engagement of guest, service staff and back offices and integrate the same with PMS
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