We have talked about how contactless technology can facilitate and optimize work in hotels and improve the experience and comfort of guests, however, digital transformation goes much further. Travelers are increasingly used to the comforts that digitalization brings: they carry it on their smartphones. Therefore, offering a service that is increasingly focused on technology can be a competitive advantage that will make them choose your hotel, not only during the experience there, but also during the search and reservation phase.
Digital transformation in the hotel industry is a constant process. Technology advances and changes daily, and it is common to get lost among so many applications, solutions, technologies and systems. Which ones are essential? How to implement them? Let’s see everything in this post, let’s start!
What does it mean to digitalize a hotel?
There is no better time than after a global pandemic to rethink processes and implement changes. Technology is here to make the hotel sector more efficient, more competitive, more sustainable and more focused on customer satisfaction.
The digital transformation in the hotel industry means incorporating technologies that allow improving the service offered to the client, but also business management and processes. Digital tools are becoming more precise and efficient: opening doors without a key, paying with a bracelet, collect and analyze data instantly…
From a management and operation point of view, many digital tools make it possible to optimize the operations of a hotel, reduce costs and make the daily work of staff easier and more productive.
For all these reasons, the digital transformation in the hotel industry brings many benefits:
- It helps to understand and satisfy the digital traveler.
- It allows the implementation of Big Data and Business Intelligence.
- It saves costs and improves internal efficiency.
- It facilitates and speeds up processes for customers (check-in and check-out, booking, contracting services, purchasing products…)
The keys to digital transformation in the hotel industry
To obtain the best results and improve efficiency, it is essential to put customers at the center of technological transformation. And for this, these innovative tools must be fully integrated into all departments of a hotel. The objective is to reduce costs, improve the guest experience throughout the process, streamline certain operations and obtain valuable information to continue implementing improvements and correcting errors. We are going to see the areas in which the digital transformation is implemented.
The hotel check-in and check-out process can now be done online, instantly and avoiding waiting times. The keys are digital, in card, bracelet or even code format. Digitalization also allows us to learn more about the customer and their consumption habits, in order to offer them a fully personalized experience.
The digital transformation in the hotel industry is also focused on optimizing resources and increasing energy efficiency, thus contributing to sustainable development. The youngest guests are the most concerned about the environment and sustainability, also when traveling. For this reason, it is necessary to adopt sustainable practices to the hotel’s business model:
- Renewable energies and improvement of thermal insulation.
- Installation of sensors, which helps to minimize spending by using the right energy only when the room is occupied.
- Installation of water use systems.
- LED lighting installation (saves 80% of the energy).
Smart rooms are rooms that use different electronic tools controlled through the network. Guests can control the lighting and air conditioning in the room, so that energy is not wasted. They will also be able to control different devices, such as speakers, television or even blinds by voice or remote control. Certain technologies already allow these devices to be synchronized with smartphones, so that guests can listen to their music, watch their tv shows and movies…
All this information provided by room usage trends allows us to identify usage patterns of the electronic devices and anticipate the needs of future guests.
The digitization of the hotel sector benefits all areas of hotel management:
- Customer Support.
- Continuous improvement.
That said, although technology has a very positive impact on the hotel sector, face to face contact will never disappear. It is part of the guest experience and cannot be replaced by machines. Still, digitalization helps hotel staff automate repetitive tasks so they can focus on enhancing customer service and improving the guest experience.