The technology trends for the hotel industry in 2021 will support hotel owners in ensuring the safety of their guests and staff from the threat of Covid-19 while increasing efficiency for many of the mundane processes that are essential for daily operations – such as cleaning, guest services and maintenance.
Read on to find out the top 10 technology trends for the hotel industry this year.
Contactless technology has been growing in popularity since before the Covid-19 pandemic but this growth is expected to escalate faster than ever. In the hotel industry, hygiene is everything especially now, and reducing the amount of physical interaction guests have with amenities is key to keeping them and your staff safer.
Features like digital room keys that allow guests to access their rooms using only their mobile phones and voice-controlled thermostats are just two examples of technology that will reduce the contact guests have with commonly touched surfaces, making housekeeping tasks more efficient for staff members.
Integrated Guest Mobile Apps
All-in-one mobile apps that allow customers to order room service, control in-room entertainment, make requests and book amenities like spa appointments are another trend expected to grow in 2021.
Digitalising these processes improves efficiency for staff and enhances the customer experience as everything they need can be accessed via one central app with no initial human interaction – ensuring strict social distancing rules can be followed.
Predictive Maintenance for Hotel Improvements
IoT enabled sensors can be used to measure usage and make accurate predictions on when different items or features within the hotel will need to be repaired or replaced before they become completely defunct.
This can help hotel managers to better plan maintenance work and avoid having to close off amenities for repair work, which can damage the customer experience.
Maintenance work can also be scheduled to be completed ahead of busy periods, at a time that works best for every department within the hotel to reduce friction between staff.
Self Check-in and Self Service
Once considered cold and impersonal, many hotels in 2021 will be adopting self-check-in and self-service technologies to maintain the strict social distancing guidelines that allow them to continue operating during the pandemic.
With this technology, guests can limit the contact they have with staff and other guests, as well as avoid wasting time queuing at the concierge desk, which keeps both staff and guests safe and happy.
VR Marketing for Hotel Guests
Virtual Reality technology is an emerging trend for marketing in several different industries but the potential for the hotel industry in 2021 is huge.
With VR technology, potential guests can experience a hotel’s rooms, location, views and amenities on a trial basis to make sure it meets their expectations before they make a booking.
This is a more immersive way for hoteliers to showcase their hotel’s best features and drive revenue, compared to standard photos and videos.
Chatbots vs. Concierge & Customer Service Teams
With concierge and customer service teams working with limited staff members in many cases due to Covid-19 restrictions, chatbots are a simple technological solution to meeting customer demand for information and answers to their questions.
Chatbots can easily answer queries around most basic topics such as room availability and pricing, but for more complex requests they can collect information from the customer to pass onto a human customer service assistant who can then offer a complete answer.
Not only do chatbots take the pressure off human teams, but they are also more efficient and can support customers at any time of the day or night, regardless of the time zone.
Greater Focus on Cybersecurity & Guest Privacy
The more technology that is present within hotels, the more data is being collected, which if not stored securely could be at risk of being accessed by hackers.
In 2021, we can expect to see hotels invest in training their staff on potential data security risks, securing their IT systems and ensuring customer data is as secure as possible.
Robot Service Completion
Another exciting emerging trend in the hotel industry is the implementation of robots to complete mundane but essential tasks such as cleaning.
This trend is expected to continue gaining momentum as the level of research and innovation within the field of robotics increases, as well as to meet the demand for stricter cleaning practices.
Robots can be programmed to purify the air, vacuum clean floors, empty bins and much more.
Rise of Big Data in the Hospitality Industry
The use of big data in the hospitality industry is a trend expected to rise in 2021, as more and more data is collected each day by the entire travel and tourism sector, the hotel industry will analyse these huge data sets to make improvements in several areas, including:
- Cash flow management – to help predict changes in demand for the future
- Targeted marketing – to position themselves in front of the potential customers who are most likely to be interested in their hotel
- Guest experience – to learn how best to satisfy guests and improve the quality of their experiences
- Competitor analysis – to gain a greater understanding of how competitive they are against other hotel operators and identify opportunities for improvement
Data sets collected by external sources such as hotel reviewing websites are and will continue to be incredibly useful because they offer a wide range of both quantitative and qualitative from which clear and accurate conclusions can be drawn.
The hotel industry will continue to grow its use of smart technology at scale to reduce the strain their everyday operations put on the environment.
Smart thermostats and temperature sensors can be used to automatically reduce the output of their heating in rooms where the occupant is not present and adjust it back to the correct temperature when the guest returns.
Similarly, smart lighting can be installed to automatically adjust the level of lighting in a room depending on whether there’s someone in the room and how much natural sunlight is already there.
Do you have an idea for some technology that could help improve efficiency and safety in hotels?
At Coderus, we have proven experience with helping our clients to navigate an ever-changing digital landscape.