technology

Hotel room

There’s no question about it: the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world significantly. And now, countries around the world are seeking to carefully open up again, hoping that a vaccine is on the horizon, even as they prepare for the possibility of a second surge.

In our new normal of optimism mingled with anxiety, hoteliers find themselves operating in a very different environment than what they’re accustomed to. In short, our world has changed, and the hospitality industry is having to change with it.

Tourists during covid-19 times
Photo by Victor He on Unsplash

The good news, though, is that technologies are able to make it easier than ever for hoteliers to give their guests first-class experiences. With hotel apps that your guests canenjoy on their mobile devices, you can provide them with the kind of service they’ve come to expect but at a distance that keeps everyone safe during COVID-related restrictions. This article describes best practices for using hotel apps to enhance your guests’ experience.

Contactless Service

In this era of social distancing, your guests are probably going to want to limit their contact with hotel staff as much as possible. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to be face-to-face with your guests to provide them with extraordinary service.

Manet App - Digital Concierge

Manet’s app, for instance, can be used directly to your guests’ smartphone or other mobile devices. With this app, your guests can access every ancillaries your hotel has to offer, from ordering room service and reserving seats for breakfast in a common area to digitally checking in and out and making payments remotely.

Going Digital

In addition to apps that guests can use directly by using ttheir smartphones or tablets , hoteliers can also provide proprietary digital devices that are keyed to unique services to upgrade your guests’ stay experience .

Manet devices, for example, can offer free calling as well as unlimited internet and wifi hotspot capabilities. Plus, thanks to tourist content and services available on Manet devices, your guest will always be in-the-know regarding the latest and greatest must-see attractions near them.

Manet App - Digital Concierge

And travel assistants such as these can be customized precisely to your guests’ needs. They can be used to help guests research the area, locate tourist attractions and shopping and dining venues, learn about local customs, and even help with foreign languages and currency conversions.

All your guests need to do is grab the digital device that will be ready and waiting for them in their rooms and then hit the road! Plus, if you want to take your service to the next level, you might provide a lightning-fast car charger or Bluetooth speaker to take along with them.

Mobile travel assistant charging in car
Photo by form PxHere

That will provide an added bit of security, knowing that this essential device will always be charged and ready, no matter how long your guests’ adventures may be. Best of all, it is precisely that kind of attention to detail, that kind of thoughtful finishing touch, that can win your guests’ loyalty for years to come!

SaaS Tools

Customizing and optimizing your guests’ experience isn’t only about making the best use of customer-facing apps and devices. You can also deploy these tools to learn about your guests, your operations, and what you might do better to boost your revenues while ensuring your guests’ stay is the best it can be.

Manet dashboard tool, for example, provides virtually limitless opportunities to learn about your guests, their needs, and their expectations. Geolocation capabilities in customer apps and digital devices provide important data on your habits, such as identifying local attractions that your guests are most likely to visit, as well as which customer demographics are most likely to be drawn to these attractions and when.

Manet Dashboard

Once you understand not only what your clients expect, but also what they like, you can provide customized recommendations, communicated immediately, and directly to your guests through your hotel app or digital device. “Heat maps,” for instance, can identify your guests’ aggregate locations once they leave your hotel and allow you to send push notifications for promotions and deals offered by partners and affiliates.

Premium features can also be offered through these apps and digital devices, providing an additional revenue stream. Guests can pay for these premium services on-demand, giving you a new tool for upselling without requiring face-to-face contact with your guests. And that not only protects your add-on services revenue streams, but it also provides the customization that ensures an outstanding customer experience.

The Takeaway

There’s no question that life as we know it has changed since the advent of COVID-19. As a hotelier, you’re going to be serving a customer base that is, in some ways, quite different than before the pandemic.
But, no matter what the impact of the virus may be, all guests want essentially the same thing: safety, peace of mind, and a good experience. And today’s technologies are perfectly designed to help you provide exactly that, no matter what the pandemic may bring.
Through the use of hotel apps, you can offer your guests superb, highly customized service, with minimal physical contact. From mobile check-ins and smart rooms to pre-programmed travel assistants, technology can help you not only maintain your stellar service reputation but bring it to the next level of excellence!

Article by Luke Smith – Manet Guest Writer & Technology Enthusiast

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digital transformation in hospitality after covid 19 emergency

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.

Modern hospitality dynamics


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.

Benefits of providing personalized services to the clients

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.

The Internet of Things (IoT) in the hospitality industry

The Internet of Things (IoT) in the hospitality industry

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.

Giving access to different amenities and services through the mobile app or voice assistants

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.

The use of automated chatbots in the hospitality industry

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.

Analyzing and predicting booking behaviour

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.

Giving virtual rooms tours to guests

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
• Headsets

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.

To sum up

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.

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travel technology

Technology continues to influence every part of our lives, from communication and commerce through to navigation and networking. No aspect of modern life has been impacted more than travel, with technology affecting every single aspect of the travel experience. Whether it’s booking accommodation, getting around a new city, or organizing work as a travel professional, let’s take a look at how travelers benefit from technology every single day.

airplane on globe

Instant global communication

Many of the benefits ascribed to technology come under the banner of communication. Never before in human evolution have we had the ability to communicate with anyone at any time. This is especially useful for travelers, who often need to talk with multiple people across continents and time zones. The combination of global networks and mobile devices has made communication easier than ever before, which means you can book a flight, reserve a hotel room, or manage your work emails on the go.

Smart mobile travel assistants make communication easier than ever before, with free calls and internet services allowing travelers to contact nearby businesses and move around like a local. These tools offer a tailored and personal approach to modern travel, as guests are able to communicate, access useful guides, and book tickets for local attractions. Smart mobile travel assistants are equally great for accommodation providers and travel professionals, because they can add value through improved revenue streams and analytics while enhancing the customer experience. 

Information and advice

The internet is a fountain of knowledge and advice, sometimes to its own detriment. Every regular traveler understands the importance of accurate and up-to-date information, with online forums and social platforms often used for travel inspiration and research. Smart mobile travel assistants are a great way to access relevant information in a customized and trustworthy package.

Dedicated travel apps have been tailor-made to solve common travel problems and provide a great user experience. By providing your guests with a free and accessible source of communication, they can access great deals and relevant tourist content. These apps work across the city and within your own hotel, with deep room integration enabling things like room service and automation.

traveler with travel tools

Comparison and contrast

Despite its free-wheeling reputation, travel typically involves lots of research and screen time. With more products and services out there than ever before, it’s important to compare and contrast services in order to find the perfect fit. Comparison websites provide travelers with an easy way to research accommodation, tours, insurance, and anything else that’s integral to the travel experience.

While comparison websites are incredibly useful, sometimes too many options can lead to confusion and paralysis. Travelers now demand a more tailored and streamlined approach, with some comparison services able to learn from past choices and provide valuable recommendations. Smart narrow-cast advertising provides a similar approach, with businesses able to reach out to customers on their own terms. When these services are integrated with travel apps, hotels and other businesses can benefit from improved business opportunities.

Navigation and time management

Travelers need integrated maps and navigation services every single day. Gone are the days of large paper maps. Now we can fit an accurate map of the entire globe in the pocket of our jeans. Whether it’s navigating public transport in a new city, finding the fastest way to the airport, or working out if you’ve really got time for lunch, technology makes navigation and time management easier than ever before.

Smart mobile travel assistants provide personalized help wherever you go, with travelers able to take advantage of browsers, integrated content, and geolocalization features. While Google Maps and other navigation tools are available to everyone, a dedicated operating system designed especially for travelers provides a much richer and more comprehensive travel experience.

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Rent a car smart mobile assistant - Manet Mobile Solutions

What Technology Disruptions in the Rent-A-Car Industry Mean for Your Hospitality Business?

Something digital this way comes. 

It sees you when you’re sleeping. It knows when you’re awake. 

So be ahead of the curve, for goodness sake!

By 2022, the worldwide car rental industry will be worth over $124.56 billion dollars, growing at a rate of 13.55% from 2017. 

One of the fastest-growing markets for car rentals around the world so far is turning out to be Europe. It’s an industry that is intricately (and increasingly) tied to the growth of the travel and tourism industry. 

So when it comes to the car rental sector, technology is promising to leave no stone unturned as it blows its way through the hospitality industry. 

See, there’s a similar digital revolution going on in travel, tourism, and hospitality. 

Hotels are already being equipped with mobile check-in solutions. Rooms are undergoing a digital makeover with the use of automated control systems for heating, cooling, app-driven room service, and digital assistants.

The rent-a-car market is facing just such a tech turn in the tides in two waves:

  • First off, rental companies themselves are changing the value prop facing a customer by changing the way bookings are done in tandem with travel.
  • Secondly, units of cars are being technologically transformed with the digital features necessary to deliver on these brand promises within the driving and on-road experience. 

Let’s take a look at these specific technological disruptions and what their advance means for the hospitality industry at large. 

The Tech Specs

Perhaps the greatest single change that all other “tech” changes flow from is the transformation of the car rental industry ethics. We’re moving from cars as an owned unit to “cars as a service.”

As a collective culture, it’s easy to see that disruptive apps like Uber, Lyft, and AirBnb have changed the very idea of ownership. Now, it’s all about mobility and flexibility: Cars-as-a-service (CaaS).

This change in consumption is running alongside enhancements in the car rental market itself. Fleets are changing and so are the digital features of this new and diverse collection of automobiles. 

In a survey of the global electrical car rental market, economy cars are dominating the market at 90.17% of the market share, according to 2018 results.

Global Electric Car Rental Market trends - Manet Mobile Solutions
Source: Business Wire

Furthermore, luxury vendors are happily maintaining a fleet of electric vehicles such as the Tesla Model S and X. 

There’s a clear demand. 

Car rental as a service itself is becoming a more viable option even when travelers remain at home because there’s an emphasis on short-term rentals, pay-as-you-go models and subscription-based payments. 

Online rent-a-car search and booking engines 

First and foremost, search behavior is changing the way that rent-a-car brands are being found — but, also, it’s allowing the data to drive their own “findability.”

Rent-a-car search is now usually seamlessly integrated into travel and tourism bookings, or hospitality reservations. 

In other words, when users search for car rentals online, booking engines will offer highly targeted and specific offers on hotel suites, tours in the location of booking, and other travel-related discounts and promotions to not only incentivize a further purchase but to create an entire experience of travel. 

Known as “in-destination experiences,” this is what’s really at the heart of this rent-a-car transformation. 

“Companies across all industries are trying to create a better experience for their customers,” says Jayesh Patel, a senior vice president marketing at a major car rental brand company. “We are no different.”

Digital car sharing platforms 

Another major driver of tech-inspired transformation within the rent-a-car industry is the unmistakable effect of the “ride-hailing economy.”

It’s not only that the nature of the buyer is changing — from baby boomers to millennials voting with their pocketbooks to keep large, expensive, and often financially imprudent purchases off the bucket list. 

It’s also that peer-to-peer car sharing and ride-hailing has opened up the gateway to cars on demand. 

Apps offering reservations from a ready-to-go fleet offer individuals who travel around the world as a lifestyle the opportunity to experience that mobility and flexibility on a dime, and on their own time. 

“Consumers today have access to more information whenever and wherever they need it; they have a more urban lifestyle and have new attitudes and preferences about accessing automobiles and mobility in general…There is a solid consensus that cars provide an unmatched level of convenience and freedom, allowing people to be in total control of the time, destination and environment – and that is where opportunity exists. We’re not just renting cars … we are providing mobility, and mobility keeps the world moving.” — Pat FarrellChief Marketing & Communications Officer for Enterprise Holdings

In-car mobile hot spots and digital assistants

Alexa, entertain my kids while I keep my eyes on the road.

Okay, that’s not a real command but in-car mobile hot spots enhance the experience of a road trip by offering functionality that is very familiar to the user.

In a way, it fulfills the customers’ expectations and also surpasses it because Wi-Fi is usually a “land”-based feature. How do cars keep connected if they’re not on the “wired” part of Wi-Fi? 

They do so in the same way as cellphones and mobile devices, which run on a network. 

While passengers — notably children — can take advantage of mobile hot spots in a rental car to keep them occupied, drivers of this new digital ridesharing market can safely and accurately deliver customers to their preferred locations, using routes that are updated in real time. 

And it’s not just that. When individuals travel, 15% of them do so for business purposes. This means that in-car mobile hot spots offer businesspeople the chance to conduct their tasks on the go.

Anti-theft satellite systems

Car rentals also want to ensure that part of their customers’ experience is one of trust and safety. 

That’s why one of the major “services” offered in this new CaaS economy is an anti-theft satellite system. 

Here, the key is integration. Devices like SPOT Trace or Cellutrack take advantage of a device that’s in the hands of billions of users already — mobile phones — to provide added levels of safety, tracking, and security. 

It puts the control back into the hands of the driver or user. 

Designing a Driver’s “User Experience”

See, the user experience isn’t necessarily about inventing new technology. 

You’ll notice that many of these so-called “transformations” are simply changes in how things are already being done, relying on a level of assumed consumer adoption (namely, of mobile devices) to run new and innovative software on. 

So rent-a-car companies don’t have to reinvent the wheel. 

Which makes sense, given that related industries like travel and hospitality don’t have to either. In order to upgrade their users’ experience and set a new standard, they simply need to find and implement digital “mirrors” for common expectations like check-ins and room service. 

The actual software itself is running via mobile or digital assistant consoles like the Echo Dot.

But what is it that users want? Why are they even looking to book a hotel room or, in this case, rent a car?

To enhance the user experience, car rental companies must first understand their customers’ reasons for renting. According to a survey of 850,000 travelers in 2017, these were the results of why individual travelers relied on rental cars.

Why people rent cars -  Manet Mobile Solutions
Source: Business Wire

This is a win-win situation. If car rentals are being used as a service or insurance replacement, new features that enhance user experience make it more likely that they will look for similar features when they rent cars for leisure travel. 

So far, we’ve seen that updates to behavior equal updates to technology. And updates to technologies call for an update in fleets themselves. 

Says Susan Lombardo, senior vice-president of vehicle acquisition at Enterprise Holdings:

“Many drivers experience new automotive technologies for the first time in rental vehicles.” 

She cites the fact that it’s, after all, the US car rental industry that first helped popularize anti-lock braking, stop-start technology, hybrid electric vehicles and more to consumers. 

Car manufacturers are, themselves, offering a greater number of digitally-driven enhancements, including:

  • Offering easier navigation: Navigation systems now link up to your mobile devices app history, drives, and preferences
  • Enriched driver experience: Vehicle manufacturers like Mitsubishi are giving drivers the ability to connect to a centralized call center for emergency services through connected AI and voice recognition capabilities
  • Easier geo-located assistance request 
  • Continuous connectivity

Conclusion 

So what’s next for the future of rent-a-car “services” and experience-driven digital transformations of cars?

We’re seeing a greater and more rapid adoption rate of self-driving cars, especially in emerging countries, for one. 

These numbers reported from 2015 alone forecast that, at a similar rate of growth, and thanks to a growing number of individuals with disposable incomes in these countries, the self-drive car rental market will reach 1.65 billion USD by 2020. 

The major shift from car ownership to CaaS will develop alongside changes in conferencing technology (think about location-independent entrepreneurs running conferences during their commutes). 

Insurance companies, too, are sure to be swept up in this change, offering innovative, short-term policies on rentals, making car sharing even more attractive or offering discounts on connected vehicles. 

So just count on your fingers the number of services and technologies relating to commuting, road-tripping, and car rental, in general. Then watch as these utterly transform in tandem in the next five to 10 years. 


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