An unprecedented era for the hospitality industry
Never in modern history has the hospitality industry experienced two years quite like 2020 and 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing crisis have not left a single aspect of this industry untouched and hotels, restaurants and other service providers have been left scrambling to adapt their offerings to the current environment.
This has made it extremely important for those operating in the industry to keep their finger on the pulse of the latest tech trends and adjust accordingly lest they be left behind, especially in this new COVID world, where client expectations and requirements are constantly changing. Here are 3 tech trends in the hospitality industry you should be aware of us in 2021.
Robots working in hotels and restaurants
This is by far one of the most exciting technology trends in the hospitality industry. Imagine: you check into a hotel and as you leave the reception desk, you are welcomed by a fully functioning robot that gives you important customer information. In another hotel, you may see a robot vacuuming the carpet in the hallway on your floor as you walk to your room. It sounds like something out of The Jetsons but this is already happening in certain hotels in China.
However, it must also be said that this rise of robotics is still a novelty and the industry is, understandably, still grappling with it. Using robots for tasks traditionally carried out by humans is not something unheard of in other industries, but in the hospitality world, it takes some getting used to. But that does not make it any less valuable if applied industry-wide. Take the cleaning purposes for example. Robots can be used to clean floors and kill germs efficiently and effectively, not to mention also make an environment more COVIDsecure.
Virtual Reality tours
In what way will this be a game-changer? The booking process, for starters. Imagine how easily potential customers will be persuaded to click on the ‘Book Now’ button of a hotel if they can actually ‘feel’ what it will be like to take a stroll on the hotel premises before they check-in. This could be the end of bad reviews.
Those working in hospitality marketing, in particular, would be well-served in taking advantage of this technology. Especially in this current COVID era of very picky customers. It is not very complicated to get this type of marketing to the attention of the public either. Most modern Virtual Reality tour videos can be viewed within a web browser, and these are easily accessible. And if the viewer is wearing a VR headset the immersion effect is magnified all the more, making it even more likely that a stay will be booked.
Recognition technology is an emerging tech trend you should be aware of in general, but its prospective use in the hospitality industry is something you should particularly keep your eye on. Biometrics, the application of statistical analysis to biological data, is revolutionizing authentication practices in many industries, which can work out very favorably for hotel processes.
For example, imagine if a fingerprint or facial recognition technology could be used in your hotel to unlock rooms. Now consider the uses of the same technology for check-in and check-out purposes. In the future, this technology is also likely to allow for completely seamless purchases, with payments being authenticated by touch.
With this trend the possibilities are exciting to think about as well — fingerprint or facial recognition technology can be used to unlock your hotel room or to check-in and check-out. With the promise of this ease of mobility, not to mention security, the hotels will not know what to do with themselves with all of the bookings. Also, we are likely looking at a future in which payments will be authenticated by touch, which will benefit restaurants greatly too.
There are, of course, many more tech trends to consider — such as Voice Search functions on hotel websites, Voice Control devices in hotel rooms, and the growing importance of chatbots to answer queries of potential guests — but the three listed in this article are among the most attention-grabbing.
Let’s face it, this pandemic is not going anywhere soon and it has changed our views on safe guest experiences. Those operating in the hospitality industry are facing a very big task to adjust to a constant flow of new demands and will most likely need to continue to reinvent themselves well into the foreseeable future. But, by the looks of it, they are up to the challenge.