Technology is constantly changing and evolving; every day the blossoming of high-tech electronics has far bypassed what we thought was possible. However, with these developments, other industries are being forced to keep up with societal and technological changes, so, there have been drastic modifications in the majority of services available to the us, including that of the hotel industry. Modern innovation has impacted both hotel developers’ outlook and the psychological impact on spenders. Consumer expectations continue to increase and that directly impacts the standards which hotels are expected to meet.
The effects of technology on hotel investors and business are extensive. These advancements have led to people posting more about their lives online, albeit through social media, or other online forums. Part of this includes online reviews of hotels. Before network evaluations, it was extremely difficult to communicate with people living in distant countries, making it easier to unknowingly book a hotel with poor service. Now, with a click of a button, one is able to access thousands of reviews on any hotel they want. Developers not only have to compete with local hotels, but also with hotels in completely different countries, meaning that they have to raise their standards in order to accommodate to the increased competition.
This then leads to decreased profit margins, due to higher commissions and increased operating costs, as they are now expected to provide customers with more at a lower cost, such as complementary high-speed Wi-Fi, high definition televisions in their rooms, and various other products and services. For example, a report by Oracle Hospitality surveyed approximately 3000 American and European travellers and found that 64% of hotel guests believed it was ‘very or extremely important’ that hotels continue spending money on technology in order to give the traveller the best experience possible. This will certainly make guests expect more for less.
These advancements will also change the way in which hotels evolve in the future. For example, some ideas that have been raised are automatic checking in and check out, facial recognition for room entry, applications for messaging staff, or even taking away the idea of staff completely and using artificial intelligence (or ‘robots’) as concierges, waiters and so on. These developments have become a reality in some innovative hotels, such as the Pengheng Space Capsules Hotel, based in China. This hotel has no human staff – waiters; room service and front desk employees are all ‘robots’. This ultra-futuristic design may give us a glimpse into the future and how technology may revolutionize what it means to stay in a hotel.
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