5 Trending Digital Technologies to Elevate Hotel Guest Experience

Posted by Reshmi Nambisan
June 18th, 2018


In the highly competitive and lucrative Travel & Hospitality industry, as new digital & disruptive technologies are emerging, the way the travelers research and book hotels is noticeably shifting. In today’s interconnected world, guests & travelers are becoming increasingly demanding in how they want to communicate with hotels. Guests no longer are satisfied with picking up the phone, or directly booking online; they want convenient and fingertip access to queries before, during and after their stay.

The Disruption Game

In today’s technological world, the travelers are attracted to the unique & different experiences offered by new age disruptors like Airbnb, Marriott’s Moxy and Accor’s Jo&Joe spinoffs. On the other hand, Hoteliers have started responding to such kind of experiences, by integrating smart technology into hotel rooms and services, thereby differentiating and delivering more interactive and rejuvenating experiences. Digital disruption is helping hotels to engage more deeply with customers.

The Need for Interactive Technology:

As per business travel magazine’s report, Robotics and AI are predicted to boom, with growth rates of nearly 25% a year. Hotels and travel programs that can leverage these technologies will hugely benefit.

Recent Facts – Did You Know?

As per a recent study conducted by YouGov

  • 63% customers would prefer to contact a brand via an online chatbot platform
  • Chatbots will have human-level language ability by the year 2029
  • 64% millennials would like to visit a hotel with augmented & virtual reality technology
  • 31% would book a hotel or hotel facility after experiencing AR & VR.

The above research facts clearly signify that cognitive & interactive technologies like AI, bots and VR etc. are the future in streamlining business operations and creating more personalized customer experiences.

Let’s have a closer look at how some of the leading hospitality brands are leveraging these technologies that are set to disrupt the industry:

1. AI Powered Hotel Concierge

Image Courtesy: Eastwind.edu

You might have heard about this! Some of the leading hotels have already deployed AI powered concierges.

For e.g. Hilton’s Connie! This bipedal robot interacts with checking-in guests, utilizing the computing power of IBM’s Watson AI and travel database WayBlazer. Connie advises guests on local attractions and interesting sites. If you had stayed at Radisson Blu hotels, chances are less that you didn’t meet ‘Edward’. Edward, the robot can provide you information on local bars, restaurants and address grievances.

2. Smart Room Technologies

Image Courtesy: news.marriott.com

It will be only matter of time, before this smart-room technology becomes mainstream in hotels. Imagine a smart, hyper personalized hotel rooms, where the room knows, services your needs proactively. A typical example would be Hilton’s smart room technology. The hotel allows members to seamlessly control the room lighting, air conditioning, heating, ventilation, TC etc. Marriott has also been experimenting similar technology that anticipates and personalizes guests’ needs. They have piloted the placement of these voice assistants in their hotel rooms.

3. Interactive Chatbots

Hotelier go a step further by enabling members accrue loyalty points by allowing them to order food via app. Hotels are now using chatbots for reservation. For example, Holiday Inn Osaka Nanba’s Artificial Intelligence concierge chatbot helps in performing tasks such as booking restaurants and recommending activities.

As a relevant testimony, Hexaware also has created a chatbot prototype that can be used to book a room and assist in any way the guest wants.

This platform will help in augmenting guest satisfaction, by offering hotels the opportunity to take advantage of every suggestion, concern, compliment and request from guests.

Take few minutes to check out this video about automated future of hotels & casinos.

4. Virtual Reality

Hotels are getting to grips in harnessing virtual reality potential as a marketing tool, delivering scintillating and stimulating multiple sense experience in the process.

Instead of browsing through pictures, reading brochures, websites, customers can experience the hotel before they visit it. This potentially allows customers to experience a virtual recreation of room, in a hotel. Also, this can be extended to during the stay, to help customers experience nearby attractions, adding to the experience.

Right from exploring the coral reefs & beach views of Bahamas to the rooftop of Jokhand temple in Lhasa, innovative players like Hilton hotels, Shangri-La hotels have been leveraging technologies like Samsung Gear VR headsets in their global sales offices.

5. Mobile

Mobile apps are redefining the guest experience. Today, people are looking for information at their fingertips. They use their smartphones for hotel bookings, check-ins, and instant notifications.

US based Virgin Hotels, have developed a mobile app – ‘Lucy’, and have integrated it with their hotel systems. This app allows guests to change thermostat settings, and request for room service.

Summary POV:

Technology plays a great role in improving the online and offline experience of staying at a hotel. BOTS or Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have undeniably made the digital world collide with the real world. The emergence of games like Pokémon Go and other distinct applications has proved to the world that use of such an interface is unlimited. Hoteliers are inspiring loyalty by incorporating high-tech features, in order to improve guests’ stay.

The amalgamation of all these new forms of interactive interfaces will not only add a new dimension for the consumers to experience but will also soon change the whole meaning of customer engagement and experience by enhancing the conversion rates of the businesses which use these technologies.

Do you think there are more interactive technologies other than above mentioned, which are disrupting the hospitality industry? Connect with us OR write to us at following mentioned details.


 

Blog Author

Reshmi Nambisan  

(reshmin@hexaware.com)

 

Contribution by

Praneet Srivastava  

(praneets@hexaware.com)

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