3 Tech Trends That Are Taking The Hotel Industry By Storm

June 5, 2015

11:00 am

As technology trends change, hotels continually adapt.  The days of offering free color TV and air conditioning as perks are long gone.  In today’s technology driven world, consumers want access to their potential destination spots online.  They also want a personalized experience, and the convenience of technology while they are away from home.

Consumers, now more than ever, are taking technology offerings into consideration when choosing a hotel.  The hotels that are keeping a pulse on what consumers want are responding to those desires and adapting.  In this Huffington Post article about top hotel trends in 2015, “tech-savvy amenities and features” was listed as one of their top trends.

So, what are the tech trends that consumers are looking for, and how are hotels are meeting those needs?

1. Free Wi-Fi

More and more hotels are seeing the value in offering free Wi-Fi to their guests.  In this global survey, free Wi-Fi ranked in the number one spot for “most important in-room amenity” and in the third spot, behind complimentary breakfast and restaurant, for the “Top 10 Most Important Hotel Property Amenities.”

This is no surprise with almost half of guests traveling with two or more devices, according to a SmartBrief poll.  Hotel guests want to connect in the same way they are used to at home and at the office, without having to worry about time limits or data usage.  Some hotels are offering this to all guests, while others are offering it as a perk of their free loyalty rewards programs.

2. Checking Rates and Booking Reservations Mobile

Most hotels have a website that offers information on amenities and locations.  Consumers want more than to just find a phone number to call for assistance.  They want to be able to check rates and availability for their travel dates, and then to be able to reserve their accommodations right then and there, without having to call, and wait on hold, or go through phone prompts, or even worse, having to call back during business hours.

Some hotels have a “book reservations” button right on their home page, making checking rates, room type, and availability as simple as it can be, and then reserving your accommodations just as easy, once you find them.  This is something that can be done on the go.

According to Rya M. from Hotel Metropole, a popular hotel on Catalina Island, “We are seeing that the convenience of online access is good, not only for our guests, but for our staff too, it is a win-win.”  With more reservations made online, there are fewer phone calls into the reception desk, freeing staff up to work on other tasks.

3. In-Room Touch Screen Controls

From dimming the lights to ordering room service, there are countless features available from a tablet.  Hotel guests can control their environment, all from a single device.  At a time when personalization is more important to consumers than it has ever been, touch screen controls allows the consumer to have what they need to personalize their stay.

In this article from Hotel Management, they highlight new technology that might be the next biggest tech trend. The technology is, “designed to personalize every element of a guest’s stay from what music is playing in their rooms to whether or not the curtains are open or closed.”

With tech trends moving and changing so quickly, the hotels that are able to keep up with those trends and stay innovative are the ones that consumers will go back to.  Picking a hotel is about more than just a bed for the night, it is an experience.  Consumers want a personalized and convenient stay.

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Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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