What a difference two years can make.
According to the new Customer Engagement Technology Study from Hospitality Technology, hotel properties will be adopting new technologies at an accelerated pace over the next two years. Jungsun Kim, Ph.D, William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, UNLV, and Daniel J. Connolly, Ph.D, University of Denver, conducted a massive amount of research for the study, collecting insights from 5,705 hotels around the world.
The result? It’s going to be a very different guest experience. Not surprisingly, smartphones will lead the revolution.
“Mobile is definitely the wave of the future,” the report states.. “[Hotels] must master how to provide personalized and customized service on small screens and across devices in a consistent, convenient and user-friendly manner.”
Right now, they aren’t doing an exceptional job of delivering the “convenience” element.
“Unfortunately, many of today’s solutions are cumbersome, slow and require too much data entry for travelers on the go,” the report adds.
Here’s a look at what the future may hold.
While a small number of hotel properties have embraced iPads for checking guests into their rooms, the report predicts a massive leap in providing an even more convenient check-in process. By 2015, the report projects 58 percent of properties will give guests the ability to check in via their own smartphones.
Once they’re checked in, quite a few of those guests won’t even need to bother getting keys. An estimated 38 percent of properties will use technology that lets smartphones double as room keys.
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In the Lobby
Old-school signage? That’s so last year. Expect to see signage that you can touch, feel and experience. While only 28 percent of the properties surveyed used interactive signage in 2012, the report predicts that the number will double to 56 percent by 2015.
When guests are looking for recommendations outside the hotel, the concierge desk will feel a bit different, too. Today, just 20 percent of concierge stations include tablets or iPads, but by 2015, more than half of the hotels surveyed expect to have some kind of screen to offer suggestions.
SEE ALSO: The New Generation of Hotel Guests
In the Room
Those iPads won’t just be at the concierge desk, though. The report predicts that more upscale properties will stock rooms with iPads for complimentary use. However, there seems to be some debate over whether that trend will really take hold.
“Luxury and boutique hotels lead the way in providing in-room tablets, but because of the personalized nature of these devices and the content loaded on them, we expect consumers will prefer to bring their own devices rather than rely on hotels to provide the technology for them,” the report predicts.
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When it’s time to pay, expect to see more guests keeping their wallets in their pockets and retrieving -- you guessed it -- their smartphones instead. This year, only four percent of properties offer mobile payment, but that figure is expected to increase to 39 percent by 2015.
Interested in gaining more insights about the future of the hotel industry? Click here to download the full report.