How Smart Mobile Travel Assistants aka Hotel Smartphones and Other Technology Impact Guest Experience in Luxury Hotels Read more
How Smart Mobile Travel Assistants aka Hotel Smartphones and Other Technology Impact Guest Experience in Luxury Hotels Read more
With continuous changes and developments in the digital world, industries and businesses need to adapt to the latest technological innovations and advancements.
After every decade, every industry experiences the need to go through a series of technological changes and transformations. And same is the case with the hospitality and food and beverage industry.
Today, hotel guests prefer to stay at those hotels than can offer a personalized hotel experience to their guests. Right from selecting the best snowbird heliskiing destinations to getting details about accommodations and reservations; people prefer a more quick, reliable and efficient customer service.
All kinds of hotel operators are actively adapting to the latest technologies that are specially made for the hotel industry. Right from building personalized mobile apps to providing virtual room tours, hotel operators are using all their digital resources to improve the overall quality of their service for their clients.
Today, hotels are aware of the competition between both new and old hotel operators. As a result, businesses are striving hard to find stand out by offering more personalized services to their clients.
To survive amidst the corona pandemic, companies need to upgrade their internal and external business operations.
By using the latest technological solutions, hotel operators can address different issues related to the hospitality industry and find effective ways to solve them.
Today the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) can be seen everywhere. Through smart rooms, guests can control all different amenities. And with the help of AI bots, guests can get a timely response on behalf of the hotel operators.
Whether it is IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence) or VR, (Virtual Reality), the hotel industry is benefiting a lot by using these technologies.
Just like any other service industry today, clients expect a smooth and uninterrupted hotel experience. The use of technology and the level of service given to customers should be better than what clients have access to at home.
With the rise of Airbnb and other online lodging services, accommodation that is backed by IoT and other smart features are becoming more popular among the general public.
• An IoT enabled smart room allows guests to access all amenities and services through the hotel’s own mobile app or voice assistants like Siri or Alexa.
• In smart rooms, all appliances, gadgets, and amenities are controlled by IoT hardware and voice assistants.
• Smart rooms help the guests to get more personalized and timely services from the hotel operators.
AI solutions, when combined with ML (machine learning), can determine big data that gives more accurate estimates for improving the decision-making powers.
One of the most famous examples of the implementation of AI in the hospitality industry is the increasing use of chatbots. These automated bots can:
• Help to improve the overall user experience of guests during their stay at a hotel.
• Are programmed to interact with hotel guests through various apps.
• Can provide relevant information regarding purchase history, accommodation, food preferences, online and offline payment options, recreational activities offered, etc.
With time and continuous testing and support, these bots tend to improve and become more for giving suggestions and recommendation to guests.
AI-driven bots are more responsive and quick. They can provide prompt answers and suggestions to guests on time. Chatbots have undoubtedly become the foundation of the entire hospitality industry.
Right from making reservations, to providing online customer support when combined with machine learning algorithms can help to predict customer behavior while making a booking with a hotel operator.
With the help of AR, ML, and VR technologies, hotels can provide virtual rooms tours. To experience these virtual tours, people need to have:
• Access to a computer
• Any smart device with a Wi-Fi connection
• VR glasses
In some cases, hotels provide headsets to their clients. Through customized hotel apps, users can access all kinds of information regarding accommodation, food, and other services charges.
Considering the current situation regarding the COVID 19 outbreak, a branded hotel application can help both customers and hotel operators to interact without any form of physical contact.
Moreover, guests can access any hotel service from anywhere anytime. Furthermore, guests can receive various notifications, alerts, messages, and updates through these apps. Therefore, customers can make online bookings, check-in, and check-out through these apps.
The world has come to a complete stop due to COVID-19. Industries across the globe have taken a hit, but the most affected is the hotel industry. In fact, recovery may take longer, even after it is over. Therefore, hotels should arm themselves with continuous adjustments and strategies to reduce the impact.
To help you set out on the road to recovery, I am sharing some actionable recommendations. Read carefully and take notes.
The first thing many hoteliers are going to do after the crisis is over is reduce prices to attract business. But you don’t necessarily have to do that. Do not let panic take over; maintain your brand reputation and stick to your original rates. Employ automated revenue management for hotels to analyze the market rates and find ways to be competitive without dropping your prices. Here are a few strategies that can help you:
The hotel industry is going to see major changes in commercial trends and customer profiles once the clouds begin to lift. Therefore, it is important to segment the market as per the demands. For example, corporate travelers may frequently schedule business meetings once the lockdown is removed. Also, people might prefer drive-ins or short 1 or 2-day vacations nearby. Therefore, it is important to capture the advantage of new booking patterns.
To do that, you can use hotel data analytics which would help you identify your most valuable customers and offer competitive services and diversified products such as special drive in packages, limousine services, professional laundry services, food delivery, etc. Adding alternative revenue sources, along with addressing the direct demand, will give a thrust to your hotel business.
In the near future, travelers will make decisions based on cleanliness policies. So, create a prevention plan to ensure that guests have a safe and positive experience at your hotel. Also, make sure that you communicate it to your potential guests and everyone in your guest database.
Here’s how you can create a prevention plan:
With a drop in revenue, it may be tempting to cut costs. But do not make the mistake of reallocating your digital marketing budget. Your hotel business requires digital marketing efforts now more than ever. So, be creative and capitalize on business-driving opportunities. Here’s how you can leverage digital marketing:
By implementing these strategies, you will not only be able to survive but also come out a winner. Seize every opportunity so that you can bounce back and up your hotel revenue game when the pandemic is over. All the best!
Karan Iyer is an end-to-end digital marketer and blogger who inherently understands the hotel industry with his hospitality background. Karan knows how to convert the pain points and challenges of the hotel industry into business opportunities, and that’s what he writes about for his readers. He also shares industry trends, insights and news to help his readers stay up-to-date.
Covid-19, also known as the Coronavirus, is rapidly becoming a global emergency. Some countries, most notably China, Iran and Italy, have been hit by large numbers of cases. Other countries have seen lower numbers of cases but are being affected by government restrictions and a growing sense of unease in the community, in what the World Health Organization now has officially called a global pandemic. Large events and gatherings have been canceled all across the world, airlines are suspending certain routes, and the US and other countries have instituted travel restrictions.
This has serious implications for the tourism industry. Owners of hotels and vacation rentals are always seeing their businesses seriously impacted by this emergency situation. Covid-19 does not need to be a destructive force to your business, however. You can handle it effectively. Here is some advice on how to deal with the Covid-19 emergency as a hotel or vacation rental owner.
During the Covid-19 emergency, especially if your property is located in an infected area, your bookings will collapse and your vacancy rates will skyrocket. It is important, however, to focus on the long term. In the short term, your property may be empty and your profits will take a hit. However, take a step back and look at how this period fits into the long-term strategy of your business.
This is a great time to review and improve your offers and services. For example, this will be the ideal time to undertaken maintenance or repairs on your property. You can use the slow period to conduct staff training, either refreshing previous training or adding to their skill set. You can also take this opportunity to develop new offerings of products for your hotel or vacation rental, and in particular to work on your marketing and targeting strategies. This will mean that once this crisis is over, you will be in an excellent position to hit the ground running with your business and make it better than ever before.
During the crisis, it is a good idea to include a message of reassurance in your digital guest communications. As you’re gearing up to deal with the virus at your hotel, provide your guests with up-to-date digital information about the actions you’re taking in regard to health and safety. This will not only enhance the service you offer to your guests but also, it will give them honest, upfront information, which is key during a crisis.
During these types of crises, it can be tempting to drop your rates. However, it is important that you hold steadfast and maintain your rates at their current levels. When occupancy rates are slashed due to a global emergency, reducing your rates will have no impact whatsoever on demand. For a guest who is cautious to travel due to health concerns, or is unable to do so because of flight or government restrictions, a lower price won’t convince them to book with your property.
What dropping your rates will do, however, is damage your business over the long term, much more than Covid-19 will. Once you have lowered your rates, it is very difficult to increase them again, and price recovery can literally take years. Therefore, the best solution is to maintain your rates throughout the crisis. A good thing to do at this time, however, is to make cancellation policies more flexible. This will help you to avoid bad reviews from guests who may have already booked but want to cancel because of coronavirus fears.
In the context of a downturn in demand, it is important to make sure you get maximum revenue from every guest you have. Every little bit of revenue helps, so now is the time to put efforts toward optimizing guest experiences. It’s an opportunity to prepare to offer extra services to guests in the future.
This is where extra services come in: our data shows that the highest upselling conversion comes from offering at least eight ancillary services to all of your segments. There are certain things all guests want, such as transportation, food, activities, and a great hotel experience overall. Make sure that your future guests buy these services from you rather than elsewhere.
In a similar way, it is important to maintain your marketing strategy throughout the crisis. Continuing with marketing tactics is essential to attract as many guests as possible, as well as to set yourself up for maximum bookings once the crisis is over. You should be honest and upfront in your digital marketing about everything that is happening. This is, for example, an excellent opportunity to let them know about all the changes you are making regarding health and safety.
This is also the time to make practical shifts in your marketing to reflect the current situation. You may, for example, look to target local markets. There could be a great opportunity to host domestic travelers who are unable to go overseas at this time. You may also look for countries exiting the emergency and start targeting their markets also.
Although there is no doubt that Covid-19 represents a significant challenge to hotels and vacation rental businesses, it can also be used as an opportunity. By holding steadfast in your rates and being creative in marketing approaches, you can use this crisis to make your business stronger, so you will be ready to hit your stride again once the crisis is over.
This is also a time to identify your most valuable business partners. These people will reveal themselves through the crisis as the ones who will communicate and cooperate with you to face the emergency together. Although it is difficult to see this global emergency as a blessing, it can be used as an opportunity for hotel and vacation rental owners in a variety of ways.
Our industry is constantly changing and adapting to movements and developments. 2020 is a revolutionary year because it will firmly cement several growing trends that cannot be ignored if you want to stay relevant.
People aren’t willing to ignore the global issues we face and the social responsibility they feel you have. Showing your efforts in this space will establish trust and help your guests do “their part” as they travel.
Millennials who travel not only want boutique hotels that manage their impact but that also communicate their initiatives. Point out where you’ve made changes because this group believes the success of a business should be measured by how it impacts the world.
Expand how you engage with the environmentally mindful traveler. Consider:
The future of the hospitality industry leans heavily on technology. Mobile will continue its influence on how guests book and experience their stays. A growing subset in the digital space is the use of personalized hotel smartphones available for all guests. These allow hoteliers to have a stronger connection to their guests during their visit.
Yes, guests have their own phones, but allowing them the use of hotel smartphones allows you to:
An added bonus for foreign travelers is free calling and data. Some smartphones can be used at hotspots.
Travelers are shifting from amenities to experiences. High-income travelers are saying they would rather spend their money on happenings than on upgraded rooms. Boutique hotels are uniquely positioned to capitalize on this trend because of their proximity to cultural hotspots and local attractions.
Partner with cultural centers and other local guides or experts and create experience packages. Or better yet, merge travelers’ love of cultural immersion with your digital offerings and use hotel smartphones to load your city’s best local experiences and attractions.
Geolocated points of interest allow users to be guided easily from attraction to attraction and back home to you. This allows you to be the hotel offering a culturally immersive experience, with the mobility and autonomy people desire.
There will be a growing focus on well-designed websites with a high-quality booking engine. Ensure your visitors have a smooth experience and highlight your brand to increase visitors’ recall.
Revisit your site to make sure the experience is seamless. Become fluent in SEO placement, email marketing, and social media campaigns to increase your brand’s awareness. Offer rewards to loyal customers, so they will be attracted to booking only through your site.
Boutique hotels need to be listed on metasearch engines (search aggregators) to increase their visibility and online footprint.
Consumers will continue their photo and hashtag craze. Hoteliers are recognizing how these influencers can attract business organically through clever and posed photos.
You don’t need an overhaul or remodel. A few creative touches will up your hashtag prominence. Unusual elements outside like local plants or an artist’s mural can do the trick. Inside, focus on original food and drink items or different textures and colors in common spaces.
Customers are always evolving, and the most successful hoteliers stay ahead of trends. Make the most of them in 2020!
As reported by Geneva Business News, hoteliers need to be aware of the different services and amenities prioritized by leisure travelers, rather than assuming the priorities of business travelers apply to all guests.
Both the wants and needs of leisure travelers are less restrictive than those traveling for business, which makes catering to this massive group potentially quite lucrative. Here are three different services you can incorporate into your hotel to attract more leisure travelers.
There is simply no excuse for having poor internet services at your hotel, especially not in the eyes of a leisure traveler. Even those not dependent on the internet for work will still consider easy wifi connectivity and accessibility a top priority. Being able to watch videos, search for restaurants, and find activities to do while on vacation will improve your guests’ overall experience.
Providing high-quality internet service means that there should be no lagging, no overly complex passwords, and no additional charge for your guests. If you want to set your hotel apart from the competition, consider implementing charging stations and enabling internet access everywhere on your property (parking lot, bar, swimming pool, etc.)
Leisure travelers tend to consider customizable service, essentially having lots of variety and options to choose from, an integral part of having a satisfying travel experience. A prime example of how you can offer choice and variety is through room service. Having a wide array of options for the leisure traveler to choose from is highly important. Ways of diversifying how your hotel does room service include serving both local cuisine and international dishes, offering 24/7 service to accommodate every guest’s schedule, and having multiple dishes available for those with dietary restrictions.
Having choice and variety also helps travelers pay for what they want and avoid paying for what they don’t want. Providing options with different price points will attract leisure travelers with more diversity of incomes and budgets to your hotel.
Notably, having complementary breakfast services is also highly appreciated by leisure travelers. Many of them, especially students or young families, are more money-conscious than those traveling for business.
Other examples of customizable service and amenities would include:
The mobile travel assistant smartphone has changed the hospitality industry since its relatively recent arrival into hotels across the world. Hotel apps have become outdated and inconvenient for guests and hotel managers alike. With a mobile travel assistant, guests will have 24/7 access to a smartphone that improves their experience at your hotel in every way possible, including:
The smartphone can even be used as a room key, a tv remote, and a mainline phone. With the right mobile travel assistant, hoteliers can even access basic data from the linked devices, allowing them to receive helpful customer feedback, accommodate their guests efficiently, and even gain a new revenue stream through advertisements.
For years, hoteliers looking to enhance their guests’ travel experience have been using apps to make travel more convenient and personalized. However, while apps have been used by reputable hotel chains like Marriot International and Choice Hotels, they’re quickly becoming a thing of the past when compared to the capabilities of hotel smartphones like Manet.
With the proven ability to improve guest satisfaction, these devices manage to do everything an app can do and far more. The hotel smartphone, or rather, Manet mobile travel assistant, is already being used in many hotels across the world and is quickly becoming a favorite of travelers and hoteliers alike. The reason? There’s plenty.
A mobile travel assistant is exactly what it sounds like. Someone in your pocket who can recommend restaurants (and keep you from the bad ones), help you book trips and activities, and even help you navigate the city. Devices like the Italian Manet traveler smartphones are a high-quality replacement for the apps that guests don’t bother downloading, have trouble accessing, or simply can’t figure out how to navigate. A mobile travel assistant completely eliminates this hassle. The smartphone is there for the guest in their room, packed with features, equipped with a SIM card and ready to be used for the duration of their stay.
There are so many small cards and devices that hotels use to enhance their guests’ experience. What if these devices were all centralized into just one smartphone? The Manet traveler smartphone can replace a wide range of hotel tech, including:
With all these features incorporated into one device, guests can worry less about losing things they need for their stay. The convenience doesn’t stop there, however, as hotel smartphones also allow guests easy access to room service and the concierge, and are an easy and fast to use communication channel with their hotel as explained further below.
Even if your hotel has a well-running app, what happens if guests need to use it but don’t have internet access? With a smartphone, this problem is completely avoided.
With Manet’s free unlimited local and international calls, and unlimited 4G connectivity in and outside the hotel property, your guests will never have to worry about connectivity and hidden charges.
Even better, devices like Manet can also be used as WiFi hotspots so that guests can use additional devices, like personal laptops, smartphones, and tablets, without additional charges. Talk about earning good favor with guests! With easy 24/7 access to every online service and social app they could want and need, your guests will be taken care of at all times.
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, Manet traveler smartphones can help every hotel guest have an experience that’s tailor made for them and their needs. Here are just a few of the features guests can access on their Manet device:
Having all this services and data collected on just one device, without needing to search and dig around for them, allows guests to relax and enjoy their stay and time in the city. Needless to say, this new way of traveling, accompanied by a hotel smart mobile assistant is being highly praised by guests who’ve gotten to take advantage of it. Hotel smartphones are also a great solution for parents, traveling with young kids, who just don’t have the time to plan any last-minute outings without a ton of stress.
If you use a smartphone and have read carefully what’s written in this article, you can easilly imagine why hotel apps cannot compete with Manet Hotel Smartphones & Dashboard and why the latter are making travelers’ and hoteliers’ lives easier and happier!
Visit www.manetmobile.com to discover more!
While we can still work to prevent some of the environmental threats, others should be reversed. Being a large part of the tourism industry, hotels can contribute to making a significant difference by applying certain changes in their policies.
Apart from offering the obviously necessary environmental benefits, sustainability in hospitality also proves to be more profitable in the long run by lowering costs and attracting consumers. While owning or managing a hotel or resort you have access to a number of practices which will make the place more eco-friendly.
It is no news that plastics are not environmentally feasible. Single-use plastic items, produced for a whole range of purposes are used for one day or shorter. When disposed of, they take 1000 years to decompose, acting as a menace for all animals, especially marine life during that time.
However, it’s becoming clear now that it can be replaced in almost all circumstances. Biodegradable materials, paper bags, and cloth bags are an easy solution for storing laundry, food, and other purposes. You can use wax wraps instead of plastic to store food products. Instead of providing guests with plastic toothbrushes, provide them with eco-friendly bamboo ones with a sweet note that informs them of its organic origin and encourages them to take the toothbrush home after their stay.
Thanks to the increased awareness, many consumers wary of public places that promote the use of plastics. They tend to avoid these places, ruining hoteliers whose success depends on attracting customers. There are a number of startups that offer refills without the hassle of plastic packaging for food products, cleaning supplies and toiletries. Many famous chains including Marriott have successfully started placing pump bottles in washrooms instead of tiny bottles of shampoos and lotions.
One of the most common plastic items on hotel tables are straws. Millions of straws are used and discarded every day. Instead, you can swap them for metal straws, which are safer and can be recycled. Straws made from bamboo or other plant-based materials serve the same way as normal straws but unlike plastic, they decompose easily. Many hotels, bars and restaurants around the world have already opted to go with reusable steel straws instead of plastic ones. There have even been some really interesting developments that can leave your guests wowed, for example, pasta straws that have been developed recently by an Italian manufacturer.
75% of the environmental issues in the hospitality sector are related to the excessive consumption of resources. Thanks to the latest technologies, you can prevent this with ease:
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The things we throw out can often be reused and recycled to serve beyond their original purpose. For instance, many vegetable cuttings can be used to create compost, which can provide important nutrition for your garden. Stained tablecloths and bed sheets can be recycled into new aprons for chefs or into new laundry bags, as proven by one hotel in Toronto. Set up a recycling system for the trash and prompt your guests to properly use it by putting up informational posters.
In an era of astounding technological advances, relying on paper for your day-to-day customer dealings seems not just old-fashioned, but wasteful as well. Almost everyone today owns and uses a smartphone. Every business needs to adapt with its audience, therefore many hotels have developed their own smartphone applications and blogs that the customers can enjoy.
Through such facilities, customers can also pay bills, check in and check out, give reviews and suggestions all at their fingertips. Smart travel assistants like Manet offer tools that help hotels meet at best their guests’ needs making their stay unique as well as sustainable by eliminating the need to print menus, catalogues, leaflets and any other paper based marketing material that hoteliers need to sell their ancillary services.
By collecting rainwater through a simple filter, you can save yourself up to 70% of the main water system’s usage. The Renewable Energy Hub is one company that offers such facilities.
Cars emit tons of carbon into the air every day. You can encourage your customers to use rentals and public transport by offering discounts and giving out a ‘walking map’ which shows all transport points. Environmentally-friendly options such as electric cars and bicycles can be encouraged in a similar manner by setting up bike rentals and EV charging outside the hotel.
Automatic lighting systems are super convenient as they save your consumers the effort while simultaneously saving you bills. No one will have to remember about turning the lights off in their rooms when they go out, and the lights on the corridors won’t have to be on all night. Other options such as LED lights which have the lowest carbon footprint and last longer are a good option as well.
Another pocket-friendly alternative is to use natural daylight wherever and whenever possible. It is known to be an instant mood-lifter – a touch your guests will surely appreciate. You should try and also install skylights wherever possible.
Investing in renewable energy options such as windmills or the more common solar panels may seem expensive. But the one-time charges more than compensate for themselves when your electricity bills go down. These clean energy sources are free for you to utilize, and unlike fuel-powered alternates they produce no harmful emissions. Some governments subsidize investments such as these in order to promote sustainability.
Last but not the least, it’s very important to train your staff on the importance of taking care of the environment. Give them yearly training courses teaching them to take care of non-renewable resources; switching off lights and appliances when they’re not in use, be mindful when using water and to report and fix any leaking pipes. A well-trained staff is more important than any equipment you can buy.
Investing in these eco-friendly technologies and techniques will help you save your costs as well as the environment. As inhabitants of this planet, we should take responsibility for it and do our part in making it better – not worse.
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