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  • Writer's pictureDaniela Garcia

The Role of Technology in Hotels: An Exploration of Technology Trends in the Hospitality Industry

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

As technology develops and improves its had a significant impact on most industries, but the hospitality industry in particular has been able to leverage new technologies to make property management and the guest experience easier and more effective to manage.


The role of technology in modern hotels is crucial in enhancing the guest experience, streamlining operations, and staying competitive. Let’s take a look at some key areas where technology plays a role in hotels, and how you can leverage technology to create a guest experience that is sure to wow everyone!


A hotel room with a laptop - technology in hospitality

1. Streamlining Operations

Efficiency is at the heart of successful hotel management, and technology plays a crucial role in streamlining various operational aspects. Property management systems (PMS) like Little Hotelier are revolutionizing the way hotels handle bookings, check-ins, and inventory management.


Platforms like these, provide easy solutions for a monthly subscription price. These platforms not only automate mundane tasks like guest communications, but also provide real-time insights allowing leaders to make data-driven decisions. By integrating PMS with other systems such as point-of-sale (POS) and housekeeping, hotels can create a seamless operational ecosystem.


For those not looking for a paid experience, most hospitality consultancy websites offer resources like guided articles related to trends, add-on resources, tips and tricks, and more that properties can utilize to optimize their operational policies.


2. Enhancing Guest Experience

Guest expectations have evolved, and technology is instrumental in meeting these expectations. The check-in process has undergone a transformation with mobile check-in and keyless entry systems.


Guests can now bypass traditional check-in queues, using their smartphones to access their rooms directly. Mobile apps enable guests to personalize their stay by controlling room settings, accessing concierge services, and ordering room service. The Marriott Mobile App, Marriott Bonvoy is a prime example of how a major hotel chain uses an app to enhance the guest experience.


Having access available on demand for guests gives them the comfort to control their stay to their liking and gives them a new, playful experience when staying at a hotel.


3. Personalization Through Data

One of the most significant advantages of technology in hotels is the ability to collect and analyze guest data. Resources like Hospitality Technology, explain that by harnessing the power of data analytics, hotels can gain insights into guest preferences, behaviors, and booking patterns.


According to Sameer Humar from Hospitality Technology, “Any data will have multiple attributes or dimensions that help you understand the story around the data. In a hotel booking, you receive your guests’ details, stay dates, room rate, booking channel, room type, preferences, and many other details associated with the reservation.”


Analyzing your data to find correlative trends is the key to finding the insights and trends in your business's performance. This enables hoteliers to tailor their services and marketing efforts to cater to individual guest needs. For instance, if a guest frequently orders vegetarian meals, the hotel can proactively offer personalized menu suggestions when they look for dining options. The result is a more satisfying and personalized guest experience that fosters loyalty.


4. Smart Room Technology

The concept of smart rooms is gaining traction, providing guests with an immersive and convenient stay. Smart room technology includes features such as voice-activated controls, smart lighting, climate control, and IoT-connected devices.


The Wynn Las Vegas is a prime example of a hotel that has embraced smart room technology with an all-in-one fix. Guests at the Wynn can use voice commands to control everything from lights to curtains, creating a futuristic and personalized environment using an Amazon Echo Dot, allowing a room to be completely operational by voice only, utilizing the latest smart home tricks.


5. Contactless Solutions

The global pandemic accelerated the adoption of contactless solutions in the hospitality sector. From contactless check-ins to digital room keys, hotels are implementing technology to reduce physical touch points. Mobile payment options, digital menus, and QR codes for information access have become commonplace. Not only do these solutions enhance safety, but they also cater to the preferences of tech-savvy guests who appreciate the convenience of a touchless experience.


6. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Chatbots

AI-driven technologies and chatbots are transforming guest interactions. Chatbots can handle routine queries, provide general information about the property, and even assist with room service orders for guest accommodation. AI algorithms can analyze guest behavior to anticipate needs and preferences, offering personalized recommendations.


Henn-na Hotel in Japan gained international attention by employing humanoid robots for tasks such as check-in and concierge services, showcasing the potential of AI in creating unique and memorable guest experiences.


7. Sustainability Through Technology

Sustainability in the hospitality industry is a growing concern, and hotels are turning to technology to minimize their environmental impact. Smart energy management systems help hotels optimize energy usage, while IoT devices can monitor water consumption and control waste.


The GreenKey initiative by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) utilizes technology to measure and manage the environmental footprint of its hotels, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability through innovative solutions. The hotels in this group are committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the UN and opt to run their establishments abiding by the GreenKey criteria which includes responsible electricity and water usage, as well as the implementation of green areas and environmental activities for its guests.


For boutique properties with smaller budgets for areas like sustainability, leveraging more simplistic technologies like QR codes onsite for menus and guides to eliminate high paper usage is an easy way to begin acting more environmentally friendly through the use of technology.


8. Virtual Reality (VR) for Marketing

Virtual Reality is becoming a powerful tool for marketing in the hotel industry. Hotels can use VR to create immersive experiences for potential guests, allowing them to virtually tour rooms, amenities, and local attractions. This technology goes beyond traditional static images, providing a more engaging and realistic preview of what the hotel has to offer.


The Four Seasons Hotel in Dubai, uses VR to showcase its luxurious suites and spa facilities, enticing guests to book add-on services during their stay. These realistic videos give the public a taste of what the hotel offers, giving potential visitors and those interested a chance to explore.


9. The Age of Social Media and Influencer Marketing

Social media is a powerful technological tool that enables hotels and resorts to showcase their offerings and connect with guests in innovative ways. Hospitality leaders can leverage platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (X) to visually highlight the unique features of their hotels, from luxurious accommodations to exquisite dining experiences. While properties with larger budgets might spend thousands on social media agencies, social is a tool that can be used without much of a budget at all.


Through compelling visuals, engaging videos, and real-time updates, hotels can create an immersive online presence, offering potential guests a tour of their facilities. Social media also serves as a direct communication channel, allowing hotels to interact with guests, address questions, and build a sense of community. By embracing the reach and immediacy of social platforms, hospitality leaders can not only elevate brand visibility but also craft a narrative that resonates with the desires and expectations of their tech-savvy audience, ultimately enhancing the overall guest experience.


Strategies for Adopting Technology Trends in the Hospitality Industry

Now that we've explored the various ways technology is transforming the hospitality landscape, these are more strategies that hotel leaders can adopt to successfully integrate and leverage technological advancements to take full advantage of the resources and their positive outcomes:


1. Conduct Comprehensive Training

Investing in comprehensive training programs to ensure that hotel staff are proficient in using new technologies is crucial for a technology add-on to become reliable. An educated and tech-savvy workforce that understands the advances is essential for maximizing the benefits of technology adoption and providing a seamless experience for guests.


2. Embrace a Unified Technology Ecosystem

Opt for integrated technology solutions that seamlessly connect various aspects of hotel operations to make a cohesive system that matches the property's aspects. A unified ecosystem enhances efficiency, reduces errors, and provides a holistic view of the business, allowing the property to flow seamlessly.


3. Prioritize Data Security

With the collection and storage of sensitive guest information, data security is crucial for any hotel establishment. Implementing robust cybersecurity measures to protect guest data builds trust in your brand and allows guests to feel comfortable and secure throughout their stay, generating future loyalty to the property and overall experience.


4. Stay Agile and Adaptive

The technology landscape is dynamic, with new innovations emerging regularly. Hotel leaders should foster a culture of agility and adaptability to stay ahead of industry trends and adopt new technologies when relevant, keep yourself on top of the latest hospitality news and trends, and utilize social media channels such as LinkedIn and Instagram to find new ways to improve.


5. Seek Guest Feedback

Regularly seek feedback from guests, staff, and day visitors regarding their experiences with the implemented technologies. Use this feedback to make continuous improvements and tailor technology offerings to guest preferences. Make sure to be aware of repetitive feedback that is received to identify patterns. Seeking consultancy as necessary is also recommended to unleash the true potential of your hotel or resort.


6. Collaborate with Tech Partners

Collaborate with technology partners and vendors who specialize in hospitality solutions. These partnerships can provide access to cutting-edge technologies and ongoing support for implementation and maintenance. Think about people from your own network that can be beneficial to your hotel in any way, small advances and improvements make the difference, especially when recommended by resources you trust.


7. Communicate Technological Advancements

Effectively communicate technological advancements to guests and staff through marketing channels. Having employees who understand your vision with tech advances is crucial to generating trustworthiness and adoption. Also, highlighting the benefits of these technologies enhances the guest stay, fostering a positive perception of the hotel brand and what is available to whoever visits it.


8. Monitor Industry Trends

Keep up to date on the newest technical advances in the hospitality industry by using social media, news, periodicals, and books. Attend seminars, and webinars, and read industry publications on a regular basis to keep your hotel at the forefront of technological innovation. Make it a practice to continually be on the lookout for potential improvements, especially in the sites and areas you visit on a regular basis. Here's a list of recommended publications and websites that managers in the hospitality industry can regularly read to stay informed:


  • Website: Hospitality Net Description: A comprehensive source for news, trends, and analysis in the global hospitality industry.

  • Website: Skift Description: Skift covers the latest news and trends in the travel and hospitality industry, providing insights and analysis.

  • Website: Hotel Business Description: A publication focusing on hotel industry news, trends, and best practices for hotel management and ownership.

  • Website: Hotel Management Description: Offers news, trends, and analysis specifically targeted at hotel management professionals.

  • Website: HOTELS Magazine Description: A source for hotel industry news, trends, and business strategies for hotel owners and operators.

  • Website: PhocusWire Description: Covers technology trends and innovations in the travel and hospitality sector, including online booking and distribution.

  • Website: Travel Weekly Description: A comprehensive resource covering global travel industry news, including trends and insights relevant to the hospitality sector.

  • Website: Forbes Travel Guide Description: Forbes' coverage of luxury travel, including trends, reviews, and insights into high-end hospitality experiences.

  • Website: Hospitality Technology Description: Covers technology trends and innovations in the travel and hospitality sector, including online booking and distribution.


a hotel lobby highlighting technology in hotels and resorts

Technology's position in modern hotels is transformative, providing a multitude of chances to improve guest experiences and streamline operations, allowing a location to maximize its potential and resources. Hotels may position themselves as leaders in the growing hospitality market by taking a strategic approach to technology integration and staying on top of industry developments. Depending on your property’s brand, your leadership team can leverage technology in all areas of your hotel from the front desk to sustainability practices. To be a well-rounded hospitality leader, it's important to stay up to date on all of the latest technology offerings to ensure that your hotel is delivering a competitive guest and employee experience.


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