The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken all business industries to their core. Still, some have felt the adverse effects more than others. Hospitality businesses like hotels and restaurants have lost a large portion of their customers, and some have even been forced to close down completely due to restrictions.
Before the whole pandemic started and shut down international travel completely, the hotel industry was booming. In 2019, the room revenue alone reached $550 B, which was 2.5% more than in 2018. But instead of continuing along with future growth and fulfilling optimistic estimates, the industry plunged into one of the most challenging periods.
But hoteliers are looking to salvage what they can and adapt in every way possible to the current situation. One of the critical points of these readjustments is the adoption and development of new hospitality technologies.
Hospitality & Technology Trends
The whole hospitality industry has been adopting new tech solutions at an accelerated pace before the pandemic. But the health crisis has accelerated this trend even further. Before Coronavirus, cloud solutions, mobility, big data, and AI-based guest services were considered as a great add-on to the whole service.
But now these technologies are a must. Everything is becoming reliant on the online environment, and people are looking for contactless service that keeps them safe. This has forced hoteliers to take immediate steps to leverage and invest in digital solutions.
But through these safety and contactless service expectations, the industry has elevated its service to the next level and brought a whole new experience for its guests. So, let’s see which technologies have become a must for the hospitality industry.
5 Hospitality Technologies That are Being Adopted During the COVID-19 Pandemic
1. Contactless Technologies
Contactless technologies let hotels fulfil all the needs of their guests while achieving compliance with health protocols. A cloud-based PMS that offers contactless services to both guests and the service staff lets the staff communicate with guests in real-time through the web app, which can be accessed with a QR code scan.
This means that guests don’t have to download anything or use another platform to communicate. Guests can access all the services they need from making hotel bookings, pre-check-ins, check-ins, digital payments, ordering services during their stay, checking bills, providing feedback, and finally, checking out.
At the same time, the hotel staff and management also have internet communication and information-sharing capabilities.
2. Internet of Things
IoT solutions aren’t new in the hospitality industry. But the pandemic has introduced new applications in terms of smart sensors. This technology is used to help guests reserve parking around the hotel before their visit.
They can arrive knowing that they will have a spot waiting for them. On the other hand, various cloud IoT solutions help improve back-end processes. They are used to verify health and safety requirements, organizing housekeeping, and assigning duties to the staff.
3. Cryptocurrencies & Blockchain
All hospitality establishments can benefit from having a traceable and decentralized platform for all their data. At the same time, using blockchain allows you to accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and many others.
Blockchain platforms eliminate the need for any mediator as guests can communicate directly with hotels in a secure manner and book their rooms. Hotel rooms are migrating to blockchain to boost security as well.
There is no room for scams on either side. At the same time, all the transactions are carried out without any additional fees.
4. Artificial Intelligence
AI has exploded onto the scene in many industries. However, when it comes to hotels, the implementation has been relatively slow. However, now we are witnessing a lot of different AI solutions in hospitality.
Since it’s all about contactless service, hotels are using AI-powered face checks to give access to their guests. Simultaneously, these systems also check guests’ temperature, making sure that they don’t have COVID-19 symptoms.
Hotels now need to rely on revenue management services driven by AI. They need to look at global markets to attract guests. Simple competition mapping is just not enough. Now, they need to understand travel trends, booking patterns, traffic sources and manage their rates accordingly.
5. 5G networks
The pandemic is accelerating the growth of digital solutions used by hotels to prevent risks and allow employees to work from anywhere. All of this puts a demand on faster networks that will help both internally and externally.
5G is the fifth generation of cellular networks that offers far greater download speeds and bandwidth. The large number of mobile devices being used and IoT technologies make stable networks a must.
New Technologies are Here to Stay
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t only changed the whole hospitality industry; it has also impacted customers. Consumer behaviour is certainly different now, but as the pandemic draws to a close, things should go back to normal. Currently, guests are expecting an emphasis on hygiene, safety, and ease of access.
Hoteliers need to adapt now and implement new technologies, but we need to see if they will have to keep them in the post-covid era. The tech industry is keeping up and providing unique solutions to tackle all these issues with ease.
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