Top Hotel Technology Trends for 2018

Gone are the times, where hotels & motels business was a place for travelers to lay their heads away from home. But for anyone who is in the industry for recent years will know the role of technology and how it is drastically changing the hospitality industry.

Most activities are relying on technology directly or indirectly, which makes IT more important for Hotel operations and guest experience than more before.

So here we share few top Hospitality technology trends in hotel business today. Think of which makes sense to you and if you see an opportunity go out and begin planning accordingly. After all, in hotel business every advantage counts.

  1. Social Listening – Guest share lots about their stay experience, but they always don’t say it directly to you or on feedback forms. Also the hospitality business is mostly influenced by word of mouth and online reviews every day. This is one of the most important trends in upcoming years for hotels to invest in social listening tools. Social listening tools will help hotels understand the guest behavior and jump into a conversion with guest. Some of the social listening tools also help you gain competitive edge.
  2. High Speed Internet – Whether they travel for business or pleasure nowadays guest bring every bandwidth sucking device like smart phone, Tablet, laptop, e-reader they own. Guest expects to connect all these devices quickly and reliably as they used to get connected at home. It’s a huge strain and one of the many best hospitality brands are working on. The demand for bandwidth in hospitality is only going to grow.
  3. Service Automation – Today guest prefer technology over the human interaction for simple tasks. Remote check-in & check-out is the most popular and hospitality technology businesses and hotels have started working together with apps that lets guest order and services right from their smart phones and tablets. The service automation is becoming the basic guest request and this can be done by right automation technology, which will enable staff to concentrate on enhancing guest experience.
  4. Demand for extended stay will continue to grow –Airbnb will continue to be threat to the Hotel industry, but reality is that Airbnb is equating the evolution of the hospitality market in the modern day. This has made an outside impact to think about how we travel.

The extended stay segment is focusing on future expansion with room revenue of close to $11 Billion in 2016.

  1. Expansion of technology in Revenue ManagementThe technology is constantly changing and is ever evolving with the recent one being increased presence of automation. Revenue management system with automation has added advantage and most preferred by Managers. Automation increases the efficiency and helps managers focus on strategy & driving profitability.
  2. Increased direct Hotel Booking – Hotel managers know that key area to drive profitability and to steer guests away from OTAs & book Hotel directly. This increases brand loyalty and regenerates business. It also offers a unique opportunity for marketing the Hotels directly to customers, it also offers deals and up sell additional room services and room upgrades. These can be managed by budget-friendly hotel software which can cloud-based or on-premises.

OTAs are one of the important sources for a Hotel reservation, but they only come next to the direct bookings for a hotel that is looking at maximizing profit seriously. But why guest need to book directly on the Hotels website, is there a benefit if guest book directly instead of an OTA? What are advantages is the one area the Hotel Managers need to concentrate and focus to get guest’s book direct.

  1. Data will still be a game changer– One of the main trends of 2017, we are at the end of another year, but for lots of hotels, data is still under –appreciated and under used. In a hotel industry where providing great customer service is always a key factor and in a industry where guests are highly demanding and have high expectation utilizing data effectively has a very high impact on how hoteliers provide customer service. To get to know guest better customer behavior data is the key to provide unmatched guest service which ensures building brand loyalty.
  2. A continuing shift in focus of mobile – As the year marked yet another significant rise in mobile interactions and bookings and is said to be evolving in the upcoming years. 2018 will see a sharp rise and greater transactions via mobile devices. Mobile responsive websites and booking sites that delivers high performance will notice a significant rise in revenues.

For this reason, Managers will be planning to ensure that hotel websites are updated constantly and are optimized to deliver unmatched customer engagement, performance.

2018, will be one of the action packed year for Hospitality business. We have mentioned some of the important trends that is to be coming into hospitality technology. We wish these trends will help driving success to your Hotel Business.

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Top Hotel Technology Trends for 2018

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(Image Source: https://stocksnap.io/photo/959IURDRGJ)
Gone are the times, where hotels & motels business was a place for travelers to lay their heads away from home. But for anyone who is in the industry for recent years will know the role of technology and how it is drastically changing the hospitality industry.
Most activities are relying on technology directly or indirectly, which makes IT more important for Hotel operations and guest experience than more before.

So here we share few top Hospitality technology trends in hotel business today. Think of which makes sense to you and if you see an opportunity go out and begin planning accordingly. After all, in hotel business every advantage counts.

1. Social Listening – Guest share lots about their stay experience, but they always don’t say it directly to you or on feedback forms. Also the hospitality business is mostly influenced by word of mouth and online reviews every day. This is one of the most important trends in upcoming years for hotels to invest in social listening tools. Social listening tools will help hotels understand the guest behavior and jump into a conversion with guest. Some of the social listening tools also help you gain competitive edge.

2. High Speed Internet – Whether they travel for business or pleasure nowadays guest bring every bandwidth sucking device like smart phone, Tablet, laptop, e-reader they own. Guest expects to connect all these devices quickly and reliably as they used to get connected at home. It’s a huge strain and one of the many best hospitality brands are working on. The demand for bandwidth in hospitality is only going to grow.

3. Service Automation – Today guest prefer technology over the human interaction for simple tasks. Remote check-in & check-out is the most popular and hospitality technology businesses and hotels have started working together with apps that lets guest order and services right from their smart phones and tablets. The service automation is becoming the basic guest request and this can be done by right automation technology, which will enable staff to concentrate on enhancing guest experience.

4. Demand for extended stay will continue to grow –Airbnb will continue to be threat to the Hotel industry, but reality is that Airbnb is equating the evolution of the hospitality market in the modern day. This has made an outside impact to think about how we travel.

The extended stay segment is focusing on future expansion with room revenue of close to $11 Billion in 2016.

5. Expansion of technology in Revenue Management – The technology is constantly changing and is ever evolving with the recent one being increased presence of automation. Revenue management system with automation has added advantage and most preferred by Managers. Automation increases the efficiency and helps managers focus on strategy & driving profitability.

6. Increased direct Hotel Booking – Hotel managers know that key area to drive profitability and to steer guests away from OTAs & book Hotel directly. This increases brand loyalty and regenerates business. It also offers a unique opportunity for marketing the Hotels directly to customers, it also offers deals and up sell additional room services and room upgrades.

OTAs are one of the important sources for a Hotel reservation, but they only come next to the direct bookings for a hotel that is looking at maximizing profit seriously. But why guest need to book directly on the Hotels website, is there a benefit if guest book directly instead of an OTA? What are advantages is the one area the Hotel managers will have to focus on providing guests with more advantages in order to encourage direct bookings with help of hotel software.

7. Data will still be a game changer – One of the main trends of 2017, we are at the end of another year, but for lots of hotels, data is still under –appreciated and under used. In a hotel industry where providing great customer service is always a key factor and in a industry where guests are highly demanding and have high expectation utilizing data effectively has a very high impact on how hoteliers provide customer service. To get to know guest better customer behavior data is the key to provide unmatched guest service which ensures building brand loyalty.

8. A continuing shift in focus of mobile – As the year marked yet another significant rise in mobile interactions and bookings and is said to be evolving in the upcoming years. 2018 will see a sharp rise and greater transactions via mobile devices. Mobile responsive websites and booking sites that delivers high performance will notice a significant rise in revenues.

For this reason, Managers will be planning to ensure that hotel websites are updated constantly and are optimized to deliver unmatched customer engagement, performance.
2018, will be one of the action packed year for Hospitality business. We have mentioned some of the important trends that is to be coming into hospitality technology. We wish these trends will help driving success to your Hotel Business.

Channel Management is Fundamental to Hoteliers

Hoteliers, now more than ever, need to concentrate on revenue and distribution management. The industry not only faces corporate budget tightening, but flight costs have increased and the decreasing value of world currencies plus job uncertainty has affected tourists’ spending budgets.

Last year, more travelers continued to book their travel using web booking engines. The success of Online Travel Agents (OTA) and the expansion of the online/offline press referring people to internet led technologies have enticed consumers to the cyber travel market.

Hence, it is the priority of any hotelier during this time to ensure yields and occupancy remain high, making the most of the sales channels available to maximize revenue over the coming years. With reports that RevPAR is dropping, hotels need to think intelligently and maximize on the tools they have to ensure the business remains strong.

Today, consumers are influencing room rates more than any time in history. The internet – with multiple price comparison websites and booking channels – provides a choice. The savvier consumers get; the more likely rates will continue to fall. However, if hoteliers take control of their presence and rates online, revenue managers can make more accurate forecasts to identify occupancy and rate levels to ensure sales are on target. In 2016 hotels were managing an average of TEN third party websites to distribute rates and inventory, five years on and the average is 25.

The challenge for many hoteliers in managing these channels is to ensure accurate rates and inventory allocation to optimize each channel to increase sales and maximize revenue. There is no point selling across the internet for the sake of being online; it must be approached intelligently to avoid the mismanagement of rates. To make the most of the internet and online distribution channel revenue managers should look at technology to save time and make money.

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By utilizing cloud-based tools to manage the distribution of rates online, revenue managers can ensure rates are accurate across all third-party websites, allocate rooms to the channels providing either a greater return or greatest number of bookings, and forecast future rates and occupancy levels. mycloud HOSPITALITY technology has been developed to ensure time spent managing online rates is reduced to improve productivity and reduce human error. mycloud Property management system, (hotel PMS Software) can give you a snapshot of all online sales activity in a single screen, manage rates and rooms on third-party websites then make all the relevant changes you need to increase yields.

At this time, hoteliers need to turn to technology such as hotel software to help them through this down-turn to remain competitive. Solutions and systems to support the revenue manager are constantly being developed that will reduce time spent distributing rooms so more time can be allocated to managing the hotel.

Without a doubt the travel industry will pick-up much quicker than it had in the past, with the rise of Eastern economies and larger worldwide travel markets, knowledge of price and availability will be fundamental to hoteliers. Further with the internet becoming a leading factor in booking travel, it is essential that it is the key platform to sell rooms. However, at the same time, the internet is a world of its own, which is broken into its own segments and markets so it is essential hoteliers know who its customers are and how to reach them – being on any third-party website isn’t going to provide the expected return.

As we have seen throughout the media and even in our own industry – belts have tightened and the economy is not as strong as it was – but we know that we have recovered before and should prepare for when it does. In the meantime, it is essential to focus on making the most of what you have by optimizing sales by using the internet to benchmark and allocate rooms efficiently to achieve greater occupancy and therefore increased yields.

 

Millennial Kids Changing Global Travel

A growing segment of the global travel industry is the youth fragment. According to a report by The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and World Youth Student & Education Travel Confederation (WYSE), they generated US$ 165 billion in 2010, with the figure expected to double in the forthcoming decade. This emerging division of the worldwide travel industry has made travel specialists ponder on a rather different business model, shifting the focus on experience as well as ensuring that the millennial kids are connected throughout their stay.

The influence of globalization and technology has led to youth valuing experiences and the feeling of ‘being connected’ over traditional hotel frills. Thanks to the free internet program, Facebook for example, is now available to smartphone users in selected countries. The young travel community wants to experience the place they reside at and hence, wants a place with a local touch. Hotels that can help them connect with local, traditional and authentic places as well, fulfills their desires after all. From the looks of it, quite many hotels have hardly changed the way they operate over the last decade, still consisting of the same in-room conveniences, check-in process and high-rise, heavy curtains. A young traveler is no longer looking for white-linen service or stewards to carry their luggage up to their room. When the modern generation of young travelers enter a hotel, they want to be connected with a steady internet connection, feel entirely at home and be in a setting where they can experience something.

With the support of the World Wide Web, an 80’s or 90’s kid now also has access to unprecedented information, easily accessible from a desktop, laptop or even a mobile device.  The internet has also multiplied the opportunities for social interaction through travel. With social media and budget-travel tools like Airbnb and Skyscanner, they found out that travel wasn’t nearly as expensive or challenging as previously thought of.  Looking at friends’ photographs of past trips on Facebook or Instagram, viewing TripAdvisor’s ‘hidden gems’, arranging to stay with locals or getting tips from numerous travel blogs, helps young travelers to bond before, during and after their trip, redefining the global travel scene.

For those hotels that have changed, regardless their size, it has been for the better. Receptions for instance, have become smaller in size, and communal and get-together areas with a mix of comfy sofas, work and meeting spaces, have been on the increase. Guests are able to sit wherever or serve themselves with what they’re craving the most, as the formal divider between lobbies and restaurants are now nearly non-existent. Rooms are now smaller as many young travelers spend majority of their time in social places.

In conclusion, these young travelers are looking for a home-away-from-home. They thrive in environments where they can be part of an experience by networking with the people that live there as well as staff. Satisfaction can be derived when they drink coffee surrounded by other people in a reception, rather having a coffee machine in their room – hence being involved. Internet and social media platforms have aided these young lads in changing the traveling scene around the world.

So for those hotels still operating as they were a decade or two ago, they need to adopt more and more technology if they want this business, the technology must help them get exposure across the globe. Hotels must also be sensitive to online social discussions and comments to ensure their brand is not losing out. Technology today helps hoteliers and the cloud is a boon to such properties who aspire to have similar solutions like five-stars, but do not want to bear that much capital expenditure.  Do consider cloud-based hotel pms solutions and see what fits your needs and helps you grow.

Evolution of PMS within the Hospitality Industry Catering the Needs from Big To Small Hotels

By M Dave

Irrespective whether your hotel is a small boutique hotel with 20 bedrooms or a magnificent luxury hotel with 100+ bedrooms, having a comprehensive multi-functional Property Management System (PMS) is critical for every hotel entity. The market is flooded with plethora of PMS which are designed to meet the needs of small and big hotels alike. However the big dominant players in market like Brilliant (i-Tesso) and Opera (Micros) have very robust systems designed to more suit the operational needs of large hotels, but practically we can’t really use those PMS to streamline daily operations at small and budget hotels.

The main issues being that most of the features will be redundant in small hotels and it will also involve heavy financial commitments by small hotel owners. If one actually analyses it makes more sense for small hotel owners to reinvest into expansion plans within their hotel to make their property more competitive Hence, the question is do small and budget hotels with about 20 bedrooms really need any kind of PMS?

The answer to this question is ‘Yes’. All big and medium hotels can afford to go for a robust property management system to look after their operational aspects including guest bookings, online reservations, food and beverage costing, accounting, report generation, sales and marketing, HR and payroll, maintenance management and quality management. But on the other hand a small hotel needs to have a PMS which would help them to automate some core day to day basic operations.

With small hotel business gaining ever increasing importance every year, due to their great customer service and quirky style, they have become a very significant part of the service industry in last few years. Small technological companies like Prologic First have seen this market potential and tapped it with very innovative software’s like mycloud hospitality (http://www.mycloudhospitality.com/).

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This software helps small hotels to have a comprehensive PMS and at the same time is very friendly to their pocket. Such software just requires a tablet or a computer along with internet connection to just get started with managing their properties with features like accounting, POS, reservations and reporting all on a single screen. This will help them to tackle their operational issues like lack of skilled manpower, higher attrition rate, revenue leakage and pilferage due to the absence of proper accounting software, customer care and inventory management.

Loads of such software’s are available now in the market like mycloud hospitality, Room master, sabee app etc. The good thing about the cost of such software’s is that they are available on a monthly payment plan with as little as £2 per rooms. Some notable features about mycloud hospitality software that I came across while researching to give an idea is as below:

  • Little or no up-front investment and quick start-up
  • No long term contract and easy exit option and
  • Low investment, low risk
  • Quick implementation
  • Needs little or no training
  • Secure access from anywhere
  • High availability
  • A comprehensive Front Office service
  • Round the clock support

This highly user-friendly and scalable software is capable of streamlining and automating operations for small hotels just as they need it. So, if you are facing some operational snags while running your small hotel operations, you may consider trying a free demo of mycloud hospitality software by Prologic First or any such software available in market which is a smart way to manage your properties.

Three Key Ways to Infuse Technology into Hotel Operations

By M Dave

From check-in to check-out, digital innovations have the potential to enhance every aspect of the guest experience. Many forward-thinking hoteliers are leveraging cutting-edge technologies and platforms in order to remain competitive in the digital age of hospitality. Following are three key ways to infuse technology into your hotel operations:
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Hotel Apps – Hoteliers are realizing that digital apps can be great tools for helping guest’s access hotel information and customize their experience. They are offering apps to help guests to upgrade rooms and offer discounts as well as convenient mobile booking options. Some hotel apps even allow guests to notify the concierge before arriving at the door step, setting up room service, nearby restaurant reservations and more amenities right from their mobile devices.

 Social Media – An active social media presence allows you to engage with customers, stay on their radar, build loyalty and buzz for your brand. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest enable hoteliers to share images of hotel facilities and cool on-site happenings. Visually appealing posts can also give potential guests the opportunity to see what your property has to offer before making the commitment to book a room. Facebook, in particular, is a great social tool for hoteliers as it offers a booking engine that allows guests and travels agents to select and book rooms directly from your page.

Keeping it Mobile – Today’s digital-friendly customers’ research and book on-the-go. They expect hoteliers to keep pace with their “real time” needs. Innovative hotels are finding ways to do just that by placing roving “digital ambassadors” in their lobbies armed with iPads to help speed up the check-in and check-out process. Some properties have upped the digital ante even more by allowing guests to virtually check in 24 hours ahead, receive a bar-coded email confirmation which they can later scan upon arrival to receive their key.

There’s no doubt that guests are expecting smart hotel technology solutions that help make their hotel experiences more convenient and pleasurable. Don’t have a disconnect with your clientele! Keep technology top-of-mind in order to attract guests and remain competitive in the digital age of hospitality.