The best time to prepare for the future? Today. Let’s look at how hospitality technology trends will change the hotel landscape in 2023 with its immense capabilities.
Why are hotel technology trends important?
Technology can help hotels provide unrivaled service and accommodations to their guests, making them feel as comfortable as they do in their homes.
For instance, if guests are used to high-speed Wi-Fi in every corner of their homes, they expect the same from their accommodations. According to a recent study, the amount of revenue lost across the hospitality industry due to poor Wi-Fi offerings is roughly $5 billion annually. Hotel amenities must mirror what people can access at home and even aim to exceed those expectations.
It’s all about customizing services, so guests feel that hotels know precisely what they want and need. Technology enables hotels to meet guest demands and preferences on the fly with little to no effort.
Hotel technology also helps businesses focus on strategy instead of wasting valuable time and resources on tedious everyday tasks. A study conducted in 2020 reported that “66% of businesses were piloting the automation of business processes in one or more business functions.“ And what about hotels? They’re also discovering the colossal benefits of hotel automation, with “77.6 percent of hotels expecting to increase their tech investment in the next 3 years.”
Future hospitality technology trends that will define 2023
In 2023, we can expect hospitality technology to work even more fervently towards both these goals and predict future industry demands.
With hotel automation accelerating rapidly, hospitality technology trends in 2023 will likely focus on the following:
- Increasing guest comfort levels
- Optimizing services
- Automating and improving hotel staff workflow
- Improving marketing and reputation management
What are the future trends in the hospitality industry?
Hotel tech trend #1: Contactless check-in and check-out
Contactless check-ins let you skip frustratingly long wait times at the front desk, reduced staff productivity, and manual errors. According to a report by Statista, 27% of business travelers would prefer to use self-check-in and check-out kiosks if provided by hotels.
Companies such as GOKI have revolutionized the check-in experience thanks to automation advancements. Their innovative technology allows guests to check in and out on their terms and access their hotel rooms minutes upon arrival. Anyone who’s ever spent long hours traveling will appreciate the comfort and guest satisfaction brought by a seamless check-in experience.
For hotels dealing with labor shortages, contactless check-in is a fantastic way to let their team focus on more pressing issues instead of dealing with repetitive processes.
Hotel tech trend #2: Smart rooms
Once guests enter the hotel room, technology completely takes over. As we've already said, guests want the hotel's technological amenities to match those at home. That means good Wi-Fi, a smart TV, access to their favorite streaming services, and so on.
Hotels that want to stay ahead of the curve should also offer technologies such as voice and mobile control to personalize the guest experience fully. For instance, guests can use voice control to tell their smart room to run a bath and order dinner from room service.
Technology routes every request made by a guest to the right team member in real time. Depending on your settings, pressing requests and comments can even be directed to senior management. This provides accountability and transparency while eliminating the guessing game from the process.
Using automation for request management can significantly reduce the time to complete requests, improve guest communication, and bring more transparency across departments. It can increase hotel revenues simply by managing more requests in less time and offering upsell without additional effort.
Hotel tech trend #3: Virtual reality & upgraded online booking
Virtual reality provides a much clearer and all-encompassing understanding of your property than pictures on your website can offer. Best of all, it can already be implemented relatively easily via most web browsers and can be provided as an immersive experience for people who might have access to a VR headset.
And from the hotel staff’s perspective, the future of booking technology lies in integrating popular booking platforms preferred by guests with hotel management software used by hotels. Only then can the entire process of tracking and managing stays be fully optimized.
Put simply, hotel management should have a crystal clear picture regarding room availability and guest expectancy to organize themselves better. Upgrading your booking technology prevents you from overbooking properties.
The result? Housekeeping, maintenance, front office, food and beverage, and other hotel departments can organize staff members better to provide the best possible service.
Hotel tech trend #4: Digital guest communication
Most younger hotel guests don’t want to talk to people in person if they don’t have to and prefer texting instead.
Many properties now employ chatbots and similar solutions to allow guests to contact staff at their convenience. Hotel chatbots either answer frequently asked questions automatically or use filters that pass the query to the appropriate department to respond.
A guest can ask for the closest bar or the best Italian restaurant in the area and instantly receive an answer that leads them to a delicious pizza.
Hotels are also embracing social media communication. If you’d like to get all information pertinent to your stay via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, modern hotels will oblige, as their goal is to make guests feel comfortable and get those 5-star reviews.
Hotel tech trend #5: Robots
While it’s unlikely that robots will entirely replace hospitality staff any time soon, robots will be employed to help humans perform their tasks more efficiently.
Hotels already use robotic devices for vacuuming, cleaning, and disinfecting floors. What’s next? Probably robots that perform basic repetitive tasks in hotel kitchens and restaurants. Robots will also start appearing as digital concierges, welcoming guests and giving them basic information about their stays.
Health safety protocols will also make a case for using robots since they, unlike humans, cannot transmit and spread germs and viruses.
Hotel tech trend #6: Cloud technology
For many reasons, ensuring that your operations live in the cloud is essential in hospitality today. Being in the cloud allows real-time updates across all channels and makes adding innovations to your hotel’s tech stack easier, more efficient, and less expensive.
Hotels that are still investing money and time into installing and running on-site hardware and software won’t be able to keep up with competitors who have already migrated their systems to the cloud.
The cloud is the future of business, offering flexibility and efficiency that traditional systems cannot. Without cloud technology, your hotel is at a clear disadvantage and cannot introduce new technologies into its operation quickly enough to keep up with the competition.
Hotel tech trend #7: Cybersecurity
Every modern business needs to worry about cybersecurity. Hotels are some of the most at-risk businesses in terms of exposure simply because they are incredibly reliant on the Internet in just about every facet of their services.
Protecting IT infrastructure is just as important as installing and enabling it.
Hotels deal with and store a vast amount of personal guest data, which is valuable to hackers and makes hotels a popular target for cybercriminals. Guests using your Internet can also be targets of social engineering and phishing schemes that can give hackers access to your network.
The solution is to hire an in-house team responsible for securing hotel networks, establishing security protocols, and performing regular checks to protect your hotel. Not only is prevention necessary, but hotel IT security teams should also have well-developed response plans for when cyberattacks inevitably occur.
The level of Internet access and technology you can provide for your team and customers will hinge on the strength of your security system and protocols and your hotel’s ability to protect the plethora of sensitive data you’re dealing with every day.
How to implement hotel technology trends?
Look at your hotel journey and locate where most friction occurs with your guests and what's taking up most of your employees' time. From there, you can list all the tools to help you navigate a more seamless journey.
Don't let 2023 catch you off guard - the sooner you start preparing your hotel for its digital evolution, the better!