December 20, 2016
Posted in: Blog,

Hotel Technology: The Industry’s Strategic Plans for 2017!

2017_resolutionsAs the year is nearing an end many companies are releasing their predictions for the year ahead. However, Zebra, a provider of hospitality solutions, have released their latest Global Hospitality Study with actual hard facts and figures on travellers’ preferences, technology requirements and opinions on the factors influencing their overall satisfaction and the hotel industry’s actual strategic technology and service plans for 2017.

In short they found that guests’ rank personalized interactions and convenience perks like mobile check-in and reward-rich loyalty programs, as top enticements to win their stay. In numbers the responses look a little something like this;

  • 70% of guests want to use technology to speed up getting what they want
  • 68% of guests want to use their smartphone to speed up check-in
  • 75% are willing to share personal information, such as gender, age and email address, in exchange for tailored promotions, coupons, priority service or loyalty points, and,
  • 74% of guests appreciate hotels that customize messaging and offers
  • Not only that but guests want greater use of email and messaging apps to receive information such as confirmation of room booking (89%), issues /changes to a booking (88%), room readiness (84%) and new room options available such as upgrades and new availability (82%).
  • Lastly, 66% of guests also reported to have a better experience when they can use the latest technology to receive information and complete task such as self-service.

While some of these findings are not necessarily new or revealing they do cement and strengthen results of many reports and surveys that have been completed before them – If anything, the only differentiator is that the stats of what guests want keep getting higher and higher.

Another encouraging aspect of the report is not only did their survey analyse guests but Zebra also reached out and engaged with the hoteliers to understand their hotel technology plans for the year ahead. Two major findings included;

  • 77% surveyed worldwide are expanding Wi-Fi coverage, to help move staff to mobile computers for more guest interaction, expand location services for guests and deliver reliable wireless access.
  • 74% surveyed are planning to implement location-based technologies within the next year – prioritizing guest recognition and analytics, geo-targeted mobile offers and special promotions and upgrades.

It all seems very positive with Wi-Fi finally getting its break. Not only are hoteliers realising the importance of having great (and hopefully free) Wi-Fi – but they also recognise the huge potential and opportunities that mobile services can bring.

In summary, hotels now know that a great many of their guests carry a smartphone (a whopping 92%) and with that device guests have a desire to have more control over their stay and also a more personalised experience – as a result hotels are positively turning to hotel technology to meet on those expectations, to help enhance, personal and enrich the guest experience – all of which will boost guest satisfaction, increase loyalty and improve that all important bottom line.

Here’s to a great 2017!