Technology has increased the urge for more and more comfort and sophistication. People want things done in minutes without much physical or mental endeavor. And they want such ease in everything. Hence, technology and digital tools have become an inherent and inseparable part of everyone’s daily life. Digital devices help people sleep and wake up at designated times. People get their favorite food on the table as soon as they are ready to dine. They receive reminders of their pending tasks once they are up for work. The luxury ride reaches their doorsteps with a few taps on their devices. And the list of such facilities is endless.
Hence, anticipating such facilities and convenience in the hospitality industry is no exception. Almost every part of the industry, including hotels, restaurants, catering, resorts, clubs, casinos, and amusement parks, relies on technology to offer customized services to guests, tourists, and travelers. Now, people can wander and roam their favorite vacation destinations without traveling in person via virtual reality. They can make hotel reservations everywhere in the world from anywhere via online platforms or mobile applications.
Travelers do not need travel guides to explore any part of the world when sophisticated navigation tools are more well-versed with detailed geographic maps. That is not all. Every day unveils more modernization in the operations of the hospitality industry and people’s experiences.
The following passages explore how technology is augmenting the hospitality industry.
Automating administrative duties
Many administrative activities are mere formalities that only burden a company’s resources. For instance, monitoring and regulating inventories, booking orders, responding to emails, resolving customer queries, facilitating check-in and check-out, or overseeing housekeeping operations are all arduous activities.
But property management software (PMS) and other technology-driven solutions can liberate administrative workers from many such mundane and unintelligent affairs and activities. PMS can also help hotels, restaurants, cafes, clubs, and similar businesses to integrate and synchronize their operations across multiple branches with mobile applications. Guests and clients can view services, offerings, booking rates, facilities, room vacancies, and other relevant information before making decisions. They can also cross-check and validate information across other branches and service providers to make informed decisions.
Online booking and reservation
Customers want a seamless and contactless experience without needless paperwork and questions from staff members while booking hotel rooms or reserving a resort. Guests are willing to pay for speedy processes and facilities than miss their commitments while tending to needless check-in and check-out formalities. And advanced technology has made it possible.
Now customers can reserve hotel rooms at their fingertips. They do not need to fill in lengthy reservation application forms. Autofill settings on Google Chrome and other search engines can copy and paste customers’ data like name, address, and contact information without bothering application filler. They only have to pay with whatever digital payment mode is convenient for them and confirm their reservations.
Guests prefer little to no bothering and human interaction while resting in a hotel room or dining in a restaurant. That is where automatic housekeeping helps hotel and restaurant management to facilitate their customers without disturbance via robotics. For instance, tiny bots can crawl into every nook and corner without creating much interference, inconvenience, and noise while mopping and vacuum cleaning.
Auto cleaning settings on cleaning robots can save housekeeping staff from keeping track of cleaning operations in every guestroom and elsewhere. Cleaning robots like Roomba also take less time to clean surfaces and floors, as they can keep a record of tasks done and the ones pending. The management can further smooth housekeeping operations by setting minimal security checks for the robot’s access to guestrooms.
In short, robots provide a cheaper, faster, effortless, and aesthetic alternative to traditional housekeeping in hotels, restaurants, and elsewhere in the hospitality industry.
Contactless and paperless payment
Contactless and paperless payment and billing operations via digital platforms and software applications have created remarkable comfort for customers and service providers. Service providers can save many working hours, labor, and processing cost from trivial calculations, invoicing, and recordkeeping operations. Payments and billing processes are fast, convenient, and secure. There is less risk of theft and robbery with online payment modes.
Digital payment modes like credit cards, debit cards, or e-wallets are also more trouble-free options for customers than paper currency. While making transitions, they only have to log in to their mobile banking applications or e-wallets and approve payments within seconds on their cellphones.
In addition, it is a safe alternative for many who still fear contracting infectious pathogens while making physical contact and transactions, especially after the widespread chaos and loss from the COVID-19 virus.
Less energy consumption
The hospitality sector is one of the significant contributors to the global economy, but it is also the cause of many problems. The burden on natural resources for energy generation and carbon emissions are some concerning areas. Studies estimate that the industry consumes roughly over twenty thousand gigawatt hours annually. Lighting, heating, cooling, and catering are all energy-hungry activities. They account for a massive carbon footprint from the hospitality sector.
But thanks to the green, eco-friendly, and technology-driven alternatives, it can minimize its electricity consumption expenditure and carbon emissions. Energy-saving technologies and intelligent lighting control systems have reduced energy usage and carbon emissions to a great extent. Automating and timing heating, air conditioning, and lighting in hotels and restaurants also help save energy when gadgets, lightbulbs, air conditioning, and other appliances are not in use.
Intelligent security system
A privacy breach is a pervasive challenge for businesses that keep records of sensitive information, including hotels, transportation, and banking sectors. Many customers fear staying at hotels due to the spying cameras, secret voice recorders, unauthorized sneaking into guest rooms, and the exploitation of sensitive data. Intruders can easily sneak in and steal sensitive data if companies do not have robust security measures.
Whether it is a rumor, documented privacy breach, or data exploitation incident, the hospitality industry is under criticism for inefficient security protocols and controls. Since the safety and security of customers and their belongings are of utmost importance for the tourism and hospitality management authorities, they must explore technology-driven solutions. Advanced technology offers various options, tools, gadgets, and software applications to strengthen security. For instance, intrusion alarms, access control systems, face recognition, and surveillance cameras can detect and alert any unauthorized and suspicious access in hotels and guestrooms.
Technology’s dependence will further grow in almost every public and private sector the way it has made a seamless integration into people’s lives. Technology is also paramount to the improvement and growth of the hospitality industry. As the post-COVID-19 scenario is awaiting rigorous momentum in tourism and travel, the authorities must brace up and utilize technology to facilitate and satisfy customers. Customer satisfaction is only possible if hospitality experts and facilitators produce and provide the way customers anticipate.