3 Top Technologies Reshaping Resorts Today
August 2, 2017 1:14 pm
How to reach the always-on guest.
It’s up to resorts to stay abreast of what’s new so that they can remain competitive and appease travelers’ ever-evolving technology appetites. Taylor Short, hotel-marketing analyst at Software Advice, shares some of the major technology trends impacting resorts in 2017.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI can improve operational productivity and enhance guest experience. During booking, chatbots on resort websites can answer specific queries with a high degree of personalization. At the resort, robot butlers such as those at the Westin in Buffalo, New York, can bring guests cocktails, towels or toiletries on demand. (Click here to learn more about hospitality robots.) When adding AI, carefully consider how to strike a balance between efficiency and personal touch. “Hospitality is all about customer service,” Short says. “While other industries are constantly trying out new technologies, resorts will always be slightly behind the curve to preserve their connection with guests.” Employing technology smartly is often more important than being first.
“[Mobile devices] represent an opportunity to engage with guests during their stays,” Short says. Guests are inevitably going to use their smartphones on vacation, so reach them there with opt-in text notifications for on-site events or reservations. (Click here to learn more about mobile messaging.) Behind the scenes, employees can use mobile devices to access property-management software for real-time information, minimizing error. For example, staff can confirm a room is clean before sending guests there.
Savvy resorts are using screens to quickly provide guests with information and entertainment. Red Lion Hotel Corporation installs an InfoGlass touch screen in the lobby to act as a virtual concierge, empowering guests to discover restaurants and attractions. (Click here to learn more about the digital lobby.) TV screens are also getting a boost. “In-room entertainment, like streaming devices, will be the next new incentive for travelers when booking at resorts,” Short says. Services such as Netflix and Hulu allow guests to watch the next episode in their own queues, making their experience more personal.