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What Is Expected for the Tech Hotel Chains World in 2019?

Julia Beyers Aug 23, 2019
The hospitality industry is one of the most competitive sectors, and it is imperative for hoteliers to keep up with the latest technology if they are to remain at the top.
The big hotel chains are using technology to reduce their operating costs, improve their operational efficiency, step up service delivery, and enhance the overall customer experience.
Still, adopting hotel tech is one thing, while keeping up with the ever-changing trends is another. Technology as a whole is in a constant state of flux with new and better ways mushrooming every day. So, what is expected for the hotel tech world in 2019?
How are hotel chains leveraging technology to improve their internal efficiency? Here are five technology trends hotel chains are taking advantage of to improve their service delivery in 2019.

Robots and AI

Artificial intelligence and robotics have found a new home in the hospitality industry. Hotel chains are investing billions of dollars in the automation of services, and some hoteliers have already adopted the technology.
Using machine learning algorithms, developers create robots which are very useful in the hotel industry. According to the experts, automation will replace close to 25% of all jobs in the hotel industry by 2030 because more than 75% of the tasks will rely on AI and robots.
The potential for automation in the hotel industry is enormous, and some hotel chains are already using it to streamline their services. 
Using machine learning algorithms, developers create robots which are very useful in the hotel industry. According to the experts, automation will replace close to 25% of all jobs in the hotel industry by 2030 because more than 75% of the tasks will rely on AI and robots.
The potential for automation in the hotel industry is enormous, and some hotel chains are already using it to streamline their services.
Hilton’s award-winning concierge robot Connie is eclipsed by the Henn-na robots that run the hotel almost by themselves. Other chains are using the automation in small scale to perform small front-desk activities, carry luggage, and sieve through loads of customer information.

Internet of Things

Almost everything is connected to the web today, and the hotel industry is taking advantage of IoT too. Simple tools, hotel appliances, and devices are interconnected to give the customers an excellent overall experience.
By collecting information from the customers and communicating with each other over the web, hotel devices can change the dynamics of the hotel industry.
IoT has seen developers create smart hotel appliances with embedded electronic chips and sensors which are changing the hotel ecosystem. Chains are upgrading to the latest systems in a bid to add value to their service delivery.
From automated air conditioning systems to smart room features which customers can control from their smartphones, IoT is adding a lot of value in the hospitality industry already. Hotels need to invest in this technology to prepare for the shift in market demands.

Biometric Technology

Biometric technology harbours massive potential as a whole, but it particularly has a bright future in the hotel industry. It entails the use of unique human features for authentication of customers in the hotel industry.
By using features such as fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, iris recognition and voice processing, hotels are making it easy for customers to access hotel services.
For example, customers can make purchases and confirm payments using voice commands, or unlock their hotel rooms using their fingerprints. This is now possible thanks to innovative technology.
Some common examples of hotels that have adopted biometric technology include Marriott’s quick check-in using facial recognition in China, and Japan’s hotels that use biometric technology to register guests. Boston’s Nine Zero Hotel has been using iris recognition for close to a decade to make it easy for employees to access various rooms in the hotel.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is a new technology that is gaining traction in various industries, and the hospitality industry is expected to fully adopt the technology because of the massive potential it holds.
Virtual reality involves the use of computers to simulate real-life features and environments while projecting the picture and sound to users through VR headsets.
Hotel chains can take advantage of both virtual reality and augmented reality to give prospective customers a feel of their hotel infrastructure even before they book. Customers have a chance of virtually touring the hotels and assessing the rooms before they can decide on whether to book a particular room or not.
The technology is already in use in some hotels across the world. The Atlantis Dubai Hotel offers customers a virtual tour to help them get a feel of the amenities on offer in their hotel.
Holiday Inn also offers its 360 VR tour of the facility to help customers decide on whether to book into the hotel or not. This technology has helped them increase their client base and reduce their marketing budget.
In a recent study, Oracle reported that 2/3 of customers who take virtual visits to hotels find the experience very immersive. Close to 50% of all the customers who use the VR services for booking hotels end up checking into them. Hotels should, therefore, take inspiration from these positive numbers and adopt the technology today.

Chatbots and Voice Assistants

Over the past five years, voice assistants have proliferated in the market. The likes of Apple’s Siri, Samsung Bixby, and the Google Assistant, have become a significant part of our daily lives. Hotels recognize the usefulness of these assistants too, and they are incorporating the technology as part of their room service.
Today, chatbots are an integral part of the web browsing experience. They have automated customer support and are used to collect data from web visitors. Hotels are taking advantage of these chatbots to improve the booking experience for customers by programming the chatbots to respond to frequently asked questions.
By utilizing such technologies, hotels can give customers a better experience and cut labor costs. Instead of hiring customer care assistants to respond to queries, hotels can use chatbots for this purpose. While voice assistants can replace the need for room concierges.

A Final Word

In conclusion, new tech trends are expected to spread even further in the hospitality industry. The more hotel chains adopt these trends, the stiffer the competition, and the higher the chances of developers creating better technologies to maintain the competitive edge.
To ensure that they are not left behind, hotels should invest in the latest trends and explore new areas of technology in a bid to improve their guest experience and solidify their business’ position in the market.