New Hotel Technology Trends on the Horizon as Travel Increases
After nearly two years of diminished travel—both business and leisure—people across the United States are traveling once again. As they do, they expect hotel technology trends to be equal to or better than what they’re used to at home and at work.
In its 2022 Travel Trends Report, Expedia says that more than two-thirds of Americans plan to “go all in” on vacations this year. In fact, the online travel site is calling 2022 the year of the “GOAT” (greatest of all trips) mindset.
Of the 12,000+ travelers surveyed in the report, 41% yearn for excitement and exhilaration, and 36% hope to find a sense of contentment and well-being. Nearly 38% simply want the chance to “relax and do nothing.” Emerging technology in the hospitality industry is helping travelers find new ways to engage and unwind with:
- Bigger and better entertainment devices, including 4K, Ultra HD and OLED smart TVs, as well as hubs that allow guests to stream their own subscription services using the room’s TV.
- Personal voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant help guests connect with room service, place requests and manage things like temperature, blinds, entertainment and lighting.
- Smart standalone and in-room tablets and kiosks that let guests do everything from check in and out to order room service, talk to a virtual concierge and find information about nearby destinations.
These hotel technology trends not only serve as revenue drivers, but also improve guest loyalty, safety and comfort.
Business Travel is Back, Too
In addition to leisure travel, corporate travel is also amping up again: The Global Business Travel Association’s Business Travel Index says that business trips will surge by 38% this year as compared to 2021. And the momentum will continue to build.
New technology in the hospitality industry will help business travelers make the most of their time away from home:
- Wi-Fi 6 will give guests faster, more efficient connections. With this technology, large numbers of devices can connect to a hotel’s network without problems. This allows hotels to offer expanded services to accommodate whatever travelers need to accomplish.
- 5G can enable new guest capabilities with better bandwidth, lower latency and better service. It also acts as a complement to Wi-Fi 6 that allows for guest personalization (for business travelers who frequent the same hoteliers, for example). It also supports seamless mobility between public cell service and the property’s Wi-Fi network. In other words: No matter where you are, you can have ultra-fast mobile broadband.
- Hotels can support the work-from-anywhere culture by creating collaboration and meeting spaces that have technology to support hybrid meetings. The rooms can be available to the local community to use—as well as to business travelers who need to host hybrid meetings and events.
Hotel Technology Trends to Support Workers
In addition to guest-facing improvements, behind-the-scenes technology in the hospitality industry can help hotels improve operational processes and offer high levels of service amid talent shortages.
The right systems and automation increase employee productivity and diminish the labor gap:
- Contactless check-in/check-out (via the kiosks we mentioned earlier) will not only help improve the guest experience, but also reduce workload for onsite staff members so they can focus on other guest service initiatives.
- The adoption of robotics isn’t common yet, but it may increase as a way to save workers time and provide expected levels of customer service. For example: Once a room service order is ready, an autonomous robot could step in to deliver orders to the rooms.
- Augmented and virtual reality can be used to help facility managers and technicians complete maintenance and work orders faster; it’s also used to onboard new workers quickly by giving them instant access to instructions, checklists and even step-by-step processes wherever they are.
Belden Hospitality Solutions
As the hospitality industry and technology change, Belden makes sure to stay on the forefront of this transformation. It’s one reason we choose to be an active member of AHLA (the American Hotel & Lodging Association) and HTNG (Hotel Technology Next Generation), which is now part of AHLA.
These associations protect and promote the lodging industry, as well as facilitate the development of technology models for hospitality. Their actions and industry initiatives improve the guest experience, create job growth and empower employees. AHLA also creates valuable resources like this to help the hospitality industry better understand what travelers want (check out page 15 to see how hotels are turning to technology to get future-ready).
Belden’s unique combination of technical and hospitality expertise helps you successfully integrate technology into guest and employee experiences. Learn more about our hospitality solutions.