It has been about a month ago already, and yet so many things we saw at ITB related to hotel technology are as exciting as ever. ITB is one of the biggest hotel conferences in the world. Drawing in thousands of people from around the globe and some of the top hotel technology startups use it as the springboard to showcase emerging hotel technology, meet new people, and discover ways to improve hotels.
As with most industries, the hotel industry is mainly using big data tools to improve marketing, better-targeted ads, predicting demand patterns, analyzing rates to name a few.
Keeping a hotel in perfect condition and ready do deliver great guest experience is a lot more than just "having a crew" there are so many details involved.
The hospitality industry is one the of the oldest industries in the world, often grounded by tradition. With processes, procedures, and a hierarchy all working together in the background to ensure all the million and one things that could go wrong with a guest don’t.
Yet, there is still room for improvement.
One important question that comes to mind is how do you introduce technology to a hard job such as housekeeping, without slowing down their workflow and making things harder? (and for those who have never cleaned a hotel room, you won’t fully understand what I mean).
Some time ago as I was checking out of our hotel, my 11-year-old daughter looks at me with a sad face and says “Daddy, I think I left my iPod in the room.” This sent me into pure panic mode, on one hand I was frantically trying to figure out where her iPod was, my other children were disappointed about the holiday ending, and to make matters worse the taxi outside was threatening to leave, which would strand us at the hotel causing us to miss our flight home.
Needless to say, it wasn’t the ideal situation.
Change can be a scary thing, especially when revenue is on the line. Many hotels do not take advantage of possible technology solutions because they fear the training and implementation processes will take too much time and cost more than the system will end up being worth. However, technology is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace, and hotels are falling behind. Between the commission costs of OTAs and the threat of the sharing economy, can hotels really afford not to invest in new technology right now?
When developing a hotel budget for the coming year, two of the biggest questions hotel executives and managers must answer are in regards to technology spending: how much should be allocated towards hotel technology, and how should that amount be distributed? Determining which solutions should be a priority for the hotel can be a challenge, given the fast-developing nature of the technology industry and quick-adoption tendencies of hotel guests.
Budget season is a stressful time for a hotel, assessing the good and the bad from the past year and deciding where money should be allocated for the upcoming year. Conducting extensive research to understand what has worked and what hasn’t is the most difficult part of creating any hotel budget, but it doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking when all the needed information is right there in the hotel.
Children of Generation X (people born between 1965-1981), or Gen X as they are more commonly known, are often overlooked in favor of the other two generations, probably because they fall right into their place in the demographic: they have money to spend, like the baby boomers, but are more cautious with it, like millennials. They enjoy luxury, but put a lot of thought and research into what they buy. They’re connected online, but are much more careful about what kind of information they release.
Millennials (people born between 1982-2000) are a huge focus in today’s market, as they are not only a larger group than the baby boomers, they are also just starting out, making it important to build early loyalty. Additionally, they want to travel- up to 75% have a vested interest in traveling abroad.