Hospitality’s 4 Biggest Digital Transformation Trends

Every industry will need to undergo a fundamental transition when new technologies develop and market disruptors reach critical mass. It is no different in the Dubai Hospitality business. Beginning with the selection of a destination and knowing more about the rooms and facility, modern guests demand a customer-centric hotel experience. More comfort, speedier customer service, new experiences, features, convenience,  and the list goes on and on.

In comparison to the possibilities afforded by cutting-edge technologies, the majority of customer-focused features offered by most small and big hotel companies and numerous chains are rather basic. As a result, Hospitality Companies in Dubai, UAE, must be aware of rivals’ upcoming products and play catch-up, as well as introduce some of the latest amenities that their customers would appreciate and view as premium. It might seem overwhelming, but a rapid pace of change is imperative to keep up with the fourth industrial revolution. Accordingly, technologies that help to address these challenges effectively and meaningfully are in high demand.

Hotel guests can control all amenities through the Internet of Things (IoT) enabled smart room features, or interact with autonomous artificial intelligence-based chatbot solutions that improve response time and automate basic hotel services. Story Hospitality will discuss four major technologies that drive digital transformation in the hospitality industry: Internet of things; artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and mobile.

Smart Rooms, Beacons, and Tablets: Internet of Things (IoT)

Customers desire smooth experience transitions from their house, transportation, airplane, and chosen hotel services, just as they do in any other business these days. Every instance’s level of technology integration must be higher than, or at least similar to, what guests have at home, such as the capacity to watch subscription-based content or manage devices like air conditioners without moving.

Customers will expect to get the most out of what they paid for, which would be a difficult task in the age of industry disruptors like Airbnb. Hotel rooms are already embracing smart features to partially satisfy the expectations of their end consumers, thanks to the combination of IoT and mobile.

Using a hotel’s mobile app or a voice assistant app based on Google Home or Amazon Alexa, customers can control facilities and order any services to guests. Air conditioners, media sets, lights, window shades, and other amenities in smart rooms are all equipped with ultra-compact Internet of Things (IoT) hardware and embedded software that can interact with the hotel app and speech recognition-based voice assistants, enabling customers to easily control essential room elements.

It’s all just a few clicks away with this application, which acts as a universal remote. Additional capabilities, such as ordering in-room services, talking with employees, and accessing vital information, such as local airline schedules and hotel food and entertainment options, can be included in such an app.

Another hospitality sub-trend, hyper-personalization, is built on the foundation of smart rooms. The data collected by the complete device ecosystem will allow hotel operators to perfect their visitor experiences and satisfy (or even predict) the wants of every guest at every turn, which is a vital capacity when hotels must forecast rapid variations in customer demand.

Furthermore, both beacons and tablets can be used for targeted offers to increase sales of guest services. For example, a hotel leverages beacon data and property management systems to create targeted promotional offers for early check-in and late stay guests. When gathering and continually viewing guests’ data, Hospitality and Hotel Management must guarantee that this information is kept secure by establishing extensive privacy policies and enabling guests to delete the majority of their data upon check-out.

As we speak, a renowned International Hospitality Management chain is revamping its business model with the assistance of cutting-edge technology. A sleek tablet in each guest room at one of their top-tier facilities allows guests to manage room amenities, talk with personnel, order room service, view hotel information, and more.

The Guest Experience using Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Machine learning algorithms in AI systems analyze huge data to produce precise estimations across a variety of crucial industry and risk management parameters, allowing hospitality management services firms to boost their decision-making capabilities dramatically. 

The rapidly rising use of chatbots, which attempt to improve customers’ stay at every stage, is the most basic illustration of how AI is growing in popularity in the hospitality business. To deliver a highly tailored experience, Hotel chatbots sift through data from a variety of resources. A chatbot’s algorithms learn better from more data than from less, so the outcome and suggestions delivered are better. Additionally, AI-driven chatbots offer an extremely quick response time.  Allowing guests to get answers to their questions practically instantly, as if they were speaking to a knowledgeable person.

Starting with the booking process and progressing to simplifying operations in contact centers and other hotel support units, chatbots have the potential to transform the hospitality industry’s operational backbone. 

Chatbots will be developed using previous calls with clients and their booking behavior on a hotel website to train Machine Learning (ML) algorithms. The system will present customers with the most pertinent booking alternatives, those that they are most inclined to choose.

AR / VR (Augmented & Virtual Reality)

When booking a room online, not all images of a hotel’s exteriors and rooms of a hotel give customers the full picture of the hotel. Buying a right to use property online should be handled the same as buying any other product. In the end,  customers want and should be able to know clearly what they are purchasing, particularly if the property is pricey and far away from their place of residence.

Hotels can use AR and VR to provide virtual tours of rooms and all of the property’s facilities. The tours must be easy to browse in a device-agnostic environment, such as on a smartphone, laptop, using affordable glasses such as Google Daydream, or more advanced headsets such as Oculus for more thorough and immersive tours. Clients would be asked to visit an office or have a headset kit sent to a location of their choice in the latter option, which would be offered by luxury hotels.

Similar experiences have already been simulated by Airbnb. Using a smartphone or VR headset, the company demonstrated a virtual reality prototype that allows people to tour properties from the comfort of their own homes. In terms of augmented reality, the company described a platform that enables hosts to write guiding notes in AR that visitors may access by scanning the place with their smartphones.

The Mobile Phone Remains at the Forefront 

In the process of upgrading the technology behind the next-generation hotel experience, mobile will continue to be the backbone. A customized hotel app allows guests and the hotel to communicate in real-time. The service management in the hospitality industry can utilize the application to communicate with visitors at any time, delivering critical notifications, updates, offers, and alerts, while the guests can receive any hotel service as well as other information at any time.

The following are some of the benefits that a hotel app can provide:

  • Functioning as a room key.
  • Services for guests (in-room dining, laundry, etc.).
  • Map of the hotel.
  • Reservations for restaurants with menus are available in the app.
  • Interact with the personnel.
  • Booking options are available.
  • Check-in and check-out through the app.
  • Other current information (flight schedules, hotel entertainment).

The smart room apps available now are merely the first step toward next-generation hotel accommodation. As a result, there is more room for creativity, and any property may now assist create the industry’s future with innovations.

Final Words

It is always challenging to innovate, particularly when it comes to key components of the hotel experience, such as establishing a smart room or applying AI-driven algorithms. Although international hospitality and service management companies will have a difficult time implementing the changes that are looming over them, innovation is always an opportunity, not a burden, in the end.

Amit Kumar

Amit Kumar is a Digital Marketing Strategist in a leading organisation. A creative marketing strategist with over 8 years of experience developing digital marketing strategies and guiding business development