In the hotel industry, innovation is the key to success, providing exceptional experiences is crucial, and staying ahead is necessary to be competitive. As we look ahead, new technologies and trends are revolutionizing how hotels operate, giving birth to the era of “smart hotels.”
From intelligent automation to personalized experiences, the future of hospitality is teeming with opportunities. Yet, with such a vast array of choices, how do you pinpoint the right innovations for your business?
In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of hotel innovations, exploring the latest trends and breakthroughs that are shaping the industry.
Staying Ahead In The Competitive Hospitality Market
With the rise of online booking platforms and the growing demand for unique experiences, hotels must continuously innovate to attract and keep guests. The key to success is understanding the evolving needs and expectations of guests and adapting accordingly.
Modern travelers are tech-savvy and expect seamless experiences. They want personalized services, instant communication, and effortless integration of in-room technology during their stay. Innovations that enable personalized marketing and targeted promotions can help you upsell and cross-sell services more effectively.
By meeting these expectations, you are more likely to attract and retain guests, all while ensuring competitiveness. From automating check-in processes to implementing smart room controls, technology can help you save time and resources, streamlining operations and improving efficiency down the line.
Current Trends And Emerging Technologies In the Hotel Industry
The hotel industry is undergoing a technological revolution, with new trends and emerging technologies reshaping the way hotels operate. Here are some of the most prominent trends and innovations today:
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is transforming the hotel industry by enabling personalized experiences and improving operations. For example, there are now AI-driven chatbots that can handle guest inquiries, make recommendations, and assist with bookings.
There are hotels that are already using AI to analyze guest data and preferences to offer personalized room settings, such as lighting, temperature, and entertainment options. Some even offer smart rooms that utilize AI-powered assistants. These voice-activated virtual assistants allow guests to use voice commands to control room features, request information, or make service requests.
2. Virtual Reality (VR) And Augmented Reality (AR)
VR and AR technologies are revolutionizing the way guests experience hotels. Hotels use VR to offer virtual reality tours, allowing guests to explore the hotel rooms, facilities, and amenities before booking. AR enhances the in-room experience by providing guests with interactive information such as local attractions, restaurants, and events within the vicinity.
“The importance of technology within the hospitality sector has increased in line with the shift in target demographics. Today, millennials are the dominant consumer generation and are more likely than previous generations to utilize digital technology and buy things like virtual reality and augmented reality devices.”
3. Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs)
NFTs are a new frontier in hospitality marketing but they can help in connecting with guests. They can be used as collectible digital items or functional digital assets to promote products, boost brand awareness, and establish partnerships.
Some of the initiatives that involve NFTs include giving away digital artwork and collaborating with local artists. A more creative way that they can be used is by selling membership or loyalty cards as NFTs instead of physical cards. Alternatively, hotels can offer digital collectibles alongside room bookings to generate interest and encourage bookings.
4. Mobile Technology
Mobile technology has become an integral part of the hotel experience. It facilitates seamless check-in and check-out processes, empowers guests to control room settings, and offers personalized recommendations. This technological integration also enables hotels to establish direct communication with guests, providing real-time updates, exclusive offers, and tailored messages.
The ongoing trend towards digital and contactless services, underpinned by web apps, has gained momentum, transforming customer-facing services through technology-assisted options like mobile check-in, contactless payments, voice control, and biometrics. As consumers increasingly embrace facial and fingerprint recognition for unlocking their smartphones and laptops, the expectation for the same level of convenience in accessing their hotel rooms through web apps is on the horizon.
5. Internet Of Things
IoT is transforming hotels into smart spaces where everything is interconnected. From smart hotel room controls that allow guests to adjust temperature and lighting with a touch of a button to smart devices that personalize the in-room experience, IoT is revolutionizing guest comfort. The technology also helps hotels track and manage their assets, optimize energy consumption, and improve overall operations.
“Travelers need to know that they will be safe when staying at your hotel. With the number of solo female travelers increasing sixfold since the pandemic’s beginning, there is an increased need to provide a feeling of security and safety.”
- Benefits of wireless electronic door locks for hotels by eHotelier
One of the trends gaining popularity is the use of IoT locks. IoT locks are a type of electronic locking system that can be controlled remotely through the Internet. These locks are a part of the broader IoT ecosystem that connects everyday objects and devices to the internet to enable data exchange and remote control.
Here are some of the benefits it can provide to your hotel business:
- Enhanced Security: IoT locks often come with advanced security features, including encryption and remote monitoring. This prevents unauthorized individuals from gaining access to hotel rooms, increasing overall security for guests.
- Convenience for Guests: IoT locks enable guests to use their smartphones or key cards for seamless access to their rooms. This eliminates the need for physical keys or key cards, reducing the risk of losing them and the inconvenience associated with keycard replacements.
- Streamlined Operations: Your staff can manage IoT locks remotely, reducing the time and effort required for tasks such as key distribution, rekeying, and lock maintenance. This can lead to increased operational efficiency.
- Data and Analytics: IoT locks generate guest data on access patterns, which you can use for analytics and improving guest services. This information can help you analyze guest behavior and tailor their offerings accordingly.
- Cost Savings: While there is an initial investment in adopting IoT locks, they can result in cost savings over time. Reduced labor costs, decreased keycard expenses, and improved energy efficiency can contribute to a positive return on investment.
4SUITES is the trusted provider of Smart IoT Hotel Locks by hoteliers worldwide. Our IoT locks are wirelessly connected to a secure cloud management platform and include features like over-the-air firmware updates, 24/7 monitoring, and opening by NFC, iMIFARE® DESFire® EV2, web app, Google Wallet or remote via the 4SUITES Manager. If you’re interested, we offer smart lock upgrades that can transform your old locks into better cloud-connected devices.
Examples Of Successful Hotel Innovation Implementations
To further understand the impact of hotel innovations, let’s explore some examples of successful implementations by hotels that have embraced innovative technologies:
Marriott Hotels implemented mobile check-in and check-out, allowing guests to bypass the front desk and have a seamless arrival and departure experience. The mobile app also enables guests to request services, such as extra towels or room service, and provides personalized recommendations based on guest preferences.
mk | hotels
This young hotel group first started off in Munich, Germany, and is now a successful brand including 13 hotels in 3 countries. Every hotel incorporates the use of smart mobile keys from 4SUITES that seamlessly integrate with our cloud-based PMS solution partner, Apaleo. The primary aim of the self-service technology was to reduce administrative tasks like front desk check-in so the staff could focus their attention on the guests.
mk | hotels managed to resolve their challenge simply by incorporating the use of a web app instead of a native mobile app. and having two cloud-based hospitality technology providers that would seamlessly connect with each other and the existing infrastructure.
The results were impressive with a 35% adoption rate across all hotel guests as well as a 95% adoption rate among the employees, all owing to the ease of use and convenience of using 4SUITES Smart IoT Locks.
CityHub hotels are rapidly emerging as a hub for innovation in the hospitality and travel industry. As the winners of the Worldwide Hospitality Awards for Innovation, these hotels combine the comfort and convenience of a traditional hotel with the cutting-edge technology and modern amenities that today’s travelers expect.
From high-speed Wi-Fi and app-controlled room features to communal spaces that foster collaboration and interaction, these hotels are redefining the concept of accommodation.
Based in the greater Innsbruck Area, Austria, VAYA Group is the largest Austrian hotel group offering distinctive accommodations in the Alpine region. With the ambition of becoming the largest and most attractive tourism group in Austria, VAYA faced the challenge of wanting to reduce costs by automating more technical processes. This way they could optimize their daily operations and guest experience.
VAYA chose 4SUITES for Smart IoT Lock technology because we provide both the hardware and software for the digital locks. Our IoT locks are user-friendly and convenient, thanks to a web app that doesn’t require any additional downloads to let guests access their rooms. With features like real-time access and monitoring, firmware updates, and secure cloud-based access, 4SUITES is the future-proof solution VAYA Group needs.
Final Thoughts On Which Hotel Innovation You Should Adopt
All the innovations discussed here contribute to improving the digital guest journey. Combining AI, IoT, mobile, VR, and other technologies ensure that the entire guest experience, from pre-arrival to check-out and beyond, is convenient, personalized, and efficient.
The future of hotels is undoubtedly exciting, with a wealth of innovative technologies and trends set to shape the industry. By embracing the right innovations in the hotel sector, you can aim at creating an inventive and unique experience with improved profitability and guest satisfaction.
When adopting a hotel technology, carefully evaluate and choose the innovations that align with your goals and target market. Consider the needs and preferences of your guests and how different technologies can help you meet and exceed their expectations.
Most hotel guests today are tech-savvy, and this is why we recommend adopting IoT smart locks as part of a complete digital guest journey. They will thank you for the convenience of using their smartphones to seamlessly check-in and check-out of their rooms without using physical keys. This streamlined process aligns with their familiarity with digital devices and enhances their overall experience.
4SUITES offers a 100% cloud-based IoT hotel locks and lock upgrades. We’re all about making operations smoother and giving guests the best experience possible. Trusted by customers in over 12 countries, our cutting-edge hardware and software will level-up your hotel like never before.
Book a free demo and see why adopting IoT smart locks for your hotel is the smartest choice you’ll ever make.