The hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit during this pandemic. It is critical to keep track of the latest technology trends in the hospitality industry and move with the times because the industry is highly competitive, and those who do not adapt are left behind. In such times, keeping your finger on the pulse is especially essential within the context of COVID-19 because customer expectations and requirements are continually shifting.
The most immediately visible change of the pandemic is a shift to touchless travel from airport curbside to hotel check-in. At the same time, automation and the role of enhanced technology has gained more focus across the entire sector. Some hotel brands opt to eliminate the reception/registration counters and replace them with check-in kiosks, iPads, etc. Even organizations that may have been rationally more focused on in-person service are now more open to trying robots or other automated options. The introduction of Artificial Intelligence in the hospitality industry promises so many exciting things; from smart rooms to an enhanced customer service experience, the opportunities are limitless.
Technological advances have played a significant role, especially regarding the widespread adoption of voice search, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things. Many of these technologies have grown because they help reduce friction and cut waiting time. Contactless payments have become more prevalent in retail settings, while mobile check-ins and cleaning technology like cleaning robots, have emerged in hotels minimizing direct human-to-human contact.
If possible, hoteliers can arrange to have unique floors opened which are germ and bacteria-free with stricter disinfecting procedures:
- Self-services with artificial intelligence technologies to avoid facing other people.
- Room control via mobile app to prevent touching in-room buttons.
Some contactless hospitality trends and tech innovations that serve as a solution to the pandemic and associated shifts in consumer behavior include:
1.Voice search & voice control
Voice search is a growing technology trend within hospitality. An increasing number of guests or customers are turning to voice search to find hotels, restaurants, and cafes, making it worth your time to capitalize on this trend by making your website and booking engine voice search-friendly.
Contactless payments offer several advantages for hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars, and cafes, which is why this has been among the leading technology trends within the hospitality industry. Aside from speeding up payments and improving customer satisfaction, contactless tech is also easily compatible with loyalty programs. Mobile contactless payments are possible even if customers do not have their wallets or even if they misplace their credit cards. Contactless payments can also offer an excellent way to reduce human-to-human contact.
A viable hygienic solution
We need to redefine the "business as usual" following the coronavirus outbreak. Guests are more concerned about hygiene than ever before. This trend is likely to continue for years into the future. Therefore, services that preclude physical contact will become some of the most sought-after methods. Hotels that can offer such services will undoubtedly rise head and shoulders above their competition.
Since international travel has reopened, delivering contactless experiences has become the primary goal of leading players in the hospitality industry. Hoteliers review all the multiple touchpoints between staff and guests in their customer journey and map out potential areas for the use of contactless technology to reduce exposure while simultaneously preserving the brand's uniqueness. Moreover, the new generation of travelers wants the best experience at the best price with less friction and hassles.