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5 Technology Trends in the Hotel Industry to Impress Guests

The hospitality industry is always on the lookout for the next big thing to help attract guests and make their stay as memorable as possible. One way you can do this is by taking advantage of the latest trends.
But trends are always in flux, and staying on top of your guest’s expectations can be daunting. That’s why we’ve done the research for you. 
These five industry trends will help you improve your current level of customer service, get more resort and hotel guests, and make sure the guests you get come back. Let’s jump in!

Facial Recognition Check-In

Checking in is one of the most common processes in the industry. The process may be sped up by computers now, but for many, it hasn’t changed much since the days before the internet. But that’s all starting to shift.
Using facial recognition at the check-in stage makes a potentially tedious process smooth and easy for guests. 
It also shows visitors that you’re up to date. After all, a brand with facial recognition technology is sure to have other innovative perks like faster Wi-Fi and mobile devices as room keys (more on that later!). 
Facial recognition check-in is already happening in some of the world’s best hotels. Recently. the Intercontinental in Shanghai partnered with WeChat, and Alibaba teamed up with two Marriott properties in China. 
Expect to see others jumping on the bandwagon soon!

Why you should action this trend:

  • Ease of check-in eliminates customer pain 
  • Shows a high level of technological access at your property
  • Increases security and reliability of the check-in process

Virtual Reality Tours

People sometimes confuse 360 videos with virtual reality. While they use similar technology and are often combined, there are some key differences.

  • Virtuality reality is a computer-generated simulation of a 3D environment that people can interact with via a headset or other equipment. It helps potential guests feel what it’s like at your property and in your rooms in the first-person. Think of it as a video game. 
  • 360 video is meant to be watched on your computer, phone or tablet. It helps show potential guests what it’s actually like at your property. Think of it as a movie.  

The opportunity to promote your property with VR hotel tours is only growing. And properties with a virtual tour included are clicked, on average, 10 times more than those without one.
If you already know that the visuals on your website can have a huge impact on sales, then you can imagine what impact a VR tour can have. Try stitching together popular user-generated visuals to help bring your tour to life. 
Some hotels are taking advantage of what the tech can do now and offer virtual reality tours. The Shangri-La hotel is a great example of this, with VR tours of the properties and local destinations.

Why you should action this trend:

  • A realistic preview of rooms and event spaces
  • Put the viewer in the driver's seat 
  • Attract both individual guests as well as large events looking for hosting 

IoT In Hotel Rooms

As the internet of things (IoT) slowly spreads to all aspects of daily life, guests have come to expect certain conveniences. More people use their phones to control all aspects of their homes, from the lighting and alarms to temperatures and TVs.
One of the biggest draws of connectivity in rooms is that it provides guests with a better experience. It allows guests to set up a room just like they like it at home, without having to figure out any new interfaces.
Having a connected hotel room also creates the impression that your resort or hotel is at the cutting edge of technology. This is an important feature for modern hotels because many guests evaluate a hotel based on the perception of things like internet speeds and reliability. 
It’s also easy material for visiting influencers to rave about to their followers. IoT also allows resort and hotel staff to better personalize their guest’s next experience. 

The system can give the staff cues, or remember someone’s preferences itself and re-apply them. As a result, your guest feels like they’re at home when they walk into the room.

Why you should action this trend:

  • Personalized guest preferences so a room feels just like home
  • Works with guest’s current technology
  • Remember preferences so each stay is perfect

Mobile Devices as Room Keys

One of the first challenges any resort or hotel ever faced was how to give access to authorized guests while keeping them safe and keeping unauthorized guests out. Keys have been the answer since the earliest days of the hospitality industry. As the technology evolved, many hotels switched to disposable key cards to make check out easier and reduce costs.
The next innovation is mobile devices as keys. Popular hotel brands like Hilton are already making the switch. Using a mobile device as a key resolves many of the issues that hotels have with room access. 
It also makes things easier for guests, as there aren’t any new keys to keep track of or lose. That means your guests spend more time enjoying their stay and less time grumbling about having to go to the front desk (again) to get another key.

Why you should action this trend:

  • Convenience and security for guests
  • Makes check-in easier
  • No need to keep track of key-cards or codes

AI Chatbots

One of the biggest challenges any property faces is making sure each guest feels special. Artificial intelligence chatbots not only provide the best quality experience for your guests but also help increase business.
Caesars Palace in Las Vegas is already using a version of this technology. It’s called Ivy, and it acts as a personalized concierge. 
The app helps guests do things like make reservations, request guest services, respond to guests’ real-time inquiries around the clock, and more. 
Guests can do everything from their phones, freeing up hotel management for other tasks, while also supplying you with more data to better serve them in the future. 

Why you should action this trend:

  • Personalized experiences for your guests
  • As the hotel learns more can offer better suggestions
  • Easy access to events, dining, performances, room service and more all from the guest’s mobile phone

Using Technology to Drive Guest Engagement and Loyalty

As you can see, the most current resort and hotel trends deal with incorporating new tech into the traditional hotel-stay experience. Understanding how guests use technology at home allows brands to replicate that experience. The result is increased guest satisfaction, lower costs, and more bookings for those that can show they understand what potential guests want out of their stay today.