By the IT and Audio Visual Team
The hotel industry is transforming. This is being driven by strong competition from the sharing economy (such as Airbnb) along with profitability pressures from online travel agency fees, utility costs and rising wages. The industry is having to consolidate with the top four parent brands now accounting for the overwhelming majority of new hotels and refurbishments.
In this competitive environment how can hotel designers, developers and operators create a great hotel experience?
There are five main technology trends to consider:
- Live on-line: the availability of fast, free and reliable Wi-Fi plus mobile phone signal
- Home experience: connectivity of personal devices for streaming media
- Save time: reduce queuing
- Digital communication: via hotel apps – offering preferences, multi-lingual support and locality information
- Enhancement: but not technology dependent
A hotel now needs to be a destination to go to, as well as stay. Neighbourhood locality is becoming more important, along with options for great restaurants and bars. The hotel experience, whether as an overnight guest or for the evening, needs to be emotive and to make you feel good. The use of lighting to create varying moods has a key role to play here.
I am often reminded that people do not just use the internet now, they live on-line. The quality of the internet service and Wi-Fi has to be exceptional; it can be a deciding factor to guests returning to a hotel (unless they want to escape from the omnipresent digital world that is!).
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