The hotel industry and technology is a match made in heaven.
The way technology emerged in this volatile industry and transformed the way hotel businesses operate is just supremely impressive.
But (there’s always a BUT), many accommodation providers around the world are still refraining from using any sort of hospitality technology solution.
And this is because, either they are not aware of the merits, sceptical about it, overwhelmed with all the options available, or they are just in denial.
Whatever is the case, avoiding hospitality technology and solutions, that too in this digital age, isn’t the right thing to do.
So, here I am again to change your perception of technology.
If you have been clueless about what type of hospitality technology solutions you need to incorporate into your property, this blog is for you.
Technology is a Pressing Priority for Hotels
The above heading is a tall statement, but it’s certainly based on facts and the current industry scenario.
At present, a huge number of hotels operate keeping technology at the centre. From acquiring bookings, delivering guest experience, enhancing hotel operations, to carrying out various post-stay activities, everything has a touch of technology.
In a recent survey around reasons to use technology, this is what hoteliers stated:
- 24% of respondents said that improving the guest experience is the prime reason.
- 18% said they want to grow their profits.
- 16% said they want to make their hotel future proof.
- And the rest of the respondents stated they want to gain a competitive advantage, grow top-line revenue, and save money and time.
The above statistics speak volumes about the significance of hospitality technology and solutions in today’s hospitality segment.
Now, the cloud is also one of the major aspects of this whole shebang, and there’s another survey that certainly proves the point why the cloud holds the centre stage.
Executives in the global travel and hospitality industry were surveyed to determine the prominence of the cloud in the industry.
- A whopping 54% of the respondents said that the cloud makes their business agile.
- And 53% said it enhances the guest experience to a higher level.
Essential Technologies for Hotels to Incorporate
The technologies mentioned in this section are the ones that play a pivotal role in a hotel’s success. So, check each one of them and see which ones are the best fit.
1. Cloud-based Property Management System (PMS)
Whenever it’s about hotel technology, the first and foremost thing that comes to mind is a “property management system”, especially “cloud-based”. It is undoubtedly one of the essential hospitality technology solutions for hotels worldwide.
A cloud-based hotel PMS is a system that can be accessed via a secure login using a computer or mobile device connected to the Internet, anywhere in the world. It helps hotels in not just managing but also automating crucial tasks such as front-office, bookings, accounting, guest check-in/check-out, room assignment, and other necessary day-to-day hotel operations.
Not to mention, there are various new technologies in the hospitality industry, but PMS remains the epicentre.
A cloud hotel PMS is at the heart of all the technological integration. When other systems are connected to a PMS, it makes everything work together.
Therefore, if you have been planning to turn your hotel tech-first, this is the first solution you need to incorporate.
2. Channel Manager
If you have observed the hospitality industry for a little longer than the last few years, you must have noticed that the internet has significantly changed various aspects of it. And one of them is in regards to online bookings.
Today, can a hotel overlook the importance of online reservation platforms (or OTAs)?
Absolutely not! They have to list themselves on all the relevant OTAs because they help in maximising revenue.
However, there’s a challenge. It is difficult to manage all the listings on various platforms. On top of it, what about room inventory updates? The obstacles are legitimate.
This is where a channel manager comes in.
A channel manager is a piece of hotel tech that allows a property to manage multiple listings and update inventory in real-time across all connected distribution channels.
For example, you receive a booking from one of the OTAs you’re connected to. Now, you don’t have to log into other OTAs and mark the room as booked. The channel manager does this automatically and in real-time.
With a channel manager in place, you not just automate your operational tasks but also help your potential guests make the most informed decisions.
3. Booking Engine
“Every hotel needs a website,” they said. But no one has ever mentioned that every hotel also needs a booking engine.
What is the point of a hotel website where people cannot make a reservation?
But with a cloud-powered booking engine, you can change the entire game.
It is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application that hotels can integrate into their website and PMS, allowing potential guests to reserve a stay online.
Top-notch booking engines also allow hotels to upsell, create packages, promotions, and exclusive deals for frequent guests, offer payment gateway options, and more.
Not to mention, there are booking engines available that also assists hotels in converting their Facebook page followers into happy guests with the help of social media integration.
All of it at absolutely 0% commission.
If these features don’t convince you to get a booking engine for your hotel, then I don’t know what would.
4. Contactless solution
Many say contactless technology is only relevant during the covid times. However, that’s not true.
Contactless hospitality technology solutions have been around even before the pandemic. It’s just that this particular technology has gained traction during the covid crisis.
Now, what’s interesting is that travellers’ behaviours have changed lately and hotels have realised it. Meaning, properties are now inclined toward incorporating contactless solutions in as many aspects as possible.
With contactless solutions in place, accommodation providers can allow their guests to book their stay, pick their room, check-in, avail services, make payment, and even check-out, with little to no human involvement.
Simply put, the guests have the power to customise their stay the way they want, right from the convenience of their smartphones.
Despite all of these advantages, I can see a lot of hotels shying from it. That shouldn’t be the case. Contactless technology is here to stay and transform the industry for the good. It is the key to delivering exceptional guest experiences and boosting revenue.
5. POS management system
Do you have a point of sale outlet at your property?
If so, a cloud-based POS system is a must-have for you.
A POS module integrated into your hotel PMS lets you manage multiple point-of-sale outlets at your property; be it a restaurant, mini bar, spa, or travel desk.
For example, you have a restaurant on your property. With a POS management system, you can take orders directly from dine-in guests, transfer orders to the room as "Room Service", let your guests settle bills during check-out and even bill directly to the company (in case of corporate bookings).
A smart and robust POS management system let you not just streamline services with top-notch features but also automate all the mundane tasks.
Hoteliering can be significantly easy with feature-rich hospitality technology solutions like this.
6. Mobile PMS
There are times when you have to be away from your property. But that doesn’t have to take a toll on your hotel operations.
This is when a hotel management app comes into the picture.
With a mobile PMS app, a hotelier can perform almost every task that it could with a computer. From keeping an eye on new reservations and in-house guests, checking OTA inventory updates, settling folios, to generating prominent hotel reports, a PMS app will give you complete control of your hotel business.
Simply put, you can manage your hotel from anywhere, anytime; right from your mobile device.
7. Revenue Management System
Maybe you have a luxurious boutique property or an aesthetic B&B. But if you don’t have a strong revenue management strategy, all your efforts of running an accommodation will go down in vain.
Revenue management is undoubtedly one of the most prominent aspects of the hospitality industry. Hotels that know how to anticipate demand, optimise availability, and price rooms the right way, witness the best possible results, both in terms of reputation and profitability.
With a robust revenue management system, you become capable of leveraging data. You can better analyse your competitors and your business performance and see where you stand in the market.
Not to mention, dynamic pricing is another added advantage you get with a revenue management system. Simply put, you can set flexible prices for products or services based on current market demands.
Revenue management currently is the need of the hour. Hotels that are turning to it are witnessing legitimate results.
The hospitality industry is evolving; not just the businesses but travellers as well. It has become supremely important for hotels to be tech-first if they want to stay profitable.
The hospitality technology solutions that I have mentioned here are some of the most prominent ones.
Explore each one of them thoroughly and see how they are going to impact the way your hotel operates.
We at eZee constantly produce content that is of high value for the hotel industry. We have covered almost every aspect of the industry in our blog. If you think, there’s something you need to know about, just head to our blog section and search for what you’re looking for.
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