The hotel industry has come a long way with revolutionizing solutions, most of which were inspired by growing customer expectations and the era of Covid-19. Digital transformation has become a necessity for every industry, especially the hospitality and travel industry which has economically suffered the most.
With digital technology come digital trends. Most trends arise thanks to hotel guests’ feedback, needs, requests and requirements. However, others are designed to fascinate guests from the moment of booking through arrival at the property’s premises, check-in and check-out.
Today we’ll share the top growing digital trends in the hotel industry that might interest every hotelier looking for ways to gain a competitive advantage and improve customer experience. Some are mobile-based, including mobile check in hotel opportunities and virtual tours.
Mobile is here to stay.
Nowadays, almost everyone owns a mobile device, a smartphone or a laptop. People use their smartphones for entertainment (e.g., social networking, streaming services), business, and travel. Today, people can use their phones to book flight tickets and make accommodation reservations. They can buy event tickets and even check in their hotel room.
Mobile check-in, mobile apps and mobile-friendly websites are hotel industry trends that are certainly here to stay. Not only optimizing your hotel website for mobile use is a necessity, but you might already be a step behind your competitors if you haven’t invested in solutions such as mobile apps and mobile check-in.
Offering a visual representation of the property and a hotel, in particular, is crucial for gaining the trust of a potential guest. If you lack images of your rooms and facilities on your website or the third-party booking platform, it’s almost impossible to get a booking based on the description.
However, with the rapid development of technology and since virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) became so affordable throughout various industries, virtual tours began to replace image galleries. Creating an interactive experience for the customer certainly gains a competitive edge and grabs their attention.
Offering a virtual tour on your website for your potential guests gives them a complete picture of your property and offers them a way to imagine what their business or leisure trip could look like. They would be able to visit different parts of your property and choose a room based on an accurate representation of the building’s layout, size, furnishings, view, etc.
Contactless is on the rise.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, contactless solutions were praised everywhere, especially in tourism and hospitality. With so many people potentially gathering in the same enclosed spaces, hoteliers and management became innovative in their sanitation and contactless techniques to meet health requirements and create a safe environment for their customers.
Contactless digital trends are booming across the sector, and hoteliers worldwide invest in developing digital and contactless payment methods. Other technology could also provide hotels with contactless check-in options so that they don’t have to simultaneously gather at the front desk but instead submit their personal information from their mobile devices.
Mobile keys are another contactless solution that is becoming increasingly popular throughout the industry. They are an environmentally friendly substitute for traditional plastic key cards. They do not require to be transferred between people or for people to touch any surfaces (except for personal mobile devices).
Hyper-personalization is a growing trend in the hotel industry as it aims to drastically improve the customer journey from booking to check-out. Many hoteliers invested in artificial intelligence (AI) technology and big data analytics to gain insight into their guest behaviors and use it to their advantage to offer superb guest experiences.
Using Internet of Things (IoT) devices is a growing trend across hotels that want to create hyper-personalized smart experiences within guest rooms. Hotel guests can choose the lighting level, change TV channels or stream their content, switch music and control in-room temperature (HVAC systems). IoT is a great way to personalize your guest experience further.