The hospitality sector, while quite possibly not the first industry that comes to mind when thinking about technological advances, is one with a surprising number of IoT innovations. 2019 marked nearly 10 years of consecutive growth in hospitality, according to a report from Deloitte, and in the last few years in particular, much of this growth has been down to and encouraged more tech adoption.
So, what exactly is the IoT doing for hotel visitors?
Nothing ruins a good holiday quite like poor customer service. Fawlty Towers, for all its faults, would have made for a perfectly reasonable seaside escape were it not for Basil Fawlty’s rudeness and poor Manuel’s incompetence. So, perhaps the rise of staffless hotels – such as Munich’s Hotel Buddy – is to be expected. In fact, Hotel Buddy boasted a 90 per cent occupancy rate in its first year of operation, where visitors could check-in, find their rooms and check-out with zero human interaction.
Although a totally staffless hotel doesn’t appeal to everyone, it is likely that we will see IoT technology used to streamline processes, just as it has in other industries. Hotel workers will be given more time to focus on customer service functions which cannot be replaced by machines, and, similarly to supermarkets’ self-service checkouts, guests will have more control over the contact they have with staff. Hotels will save on operational costs, while guests will benefit from smoother and speedier processes. Everyone wins.
Your stay, your way
Hyper-personalised rooms are becoming evermore common, with brands such as Hilton and Marriott now experimenting with the connected room concept. At Hilton, guests can use the Hilton Honors app to control the temperature, lighting, TV and window coverings in their room, as well as personalising the room with technology which loads the most popular streaming media and other individual accounts to in-room TVs. Marriott’s offering is similar; the hotel chain has partnered with both Samsung and Legrand to create its IoT Guestroom Lab.
In the longer term, both brands intend to introduce voice commands and will support integration with a range of connected devices, engagements and experiences. Guests will be able to personalise almost every aspect of their room, from the colour of the lighting to the artwork on the walls. Plus, the more they use these devices, the more the technology learns about their behaviours and preferences, meaning they won’t even have to set personalisations: the room will already know.
Perhaps a less-obvious change for guests, but an important one for hotel operators is the energy savings which can be gained from the use of IoT technology. Hotel guests pay less attention to details like air conditioning and turning the TV and lights off, compared to when they are at home. The IoT can be used to reset the room when guests leave and automatically adjust temperatues, ensuring that no energy is wasted.
This not only saves the hotel money; it is also an attractive proposition for potential guests. According to a report produced by Booking.com, 87 per cent of global travellers expressed a desire to travel sustainably. Investing in IoT technology to help with energy management can help boost a hotel brand’s CSR and environmental credentials.
No matter what industry you are a part of, there is an IoT solution which can boost your business. When you’re in need of an IoT expert, we can help you to find them. Get in touch to find out how.
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