Calling all hoteliers and property managers!. We’ve gathered all the current trends in hospitality technology to help you decide what you need — and what you don’t — to impress guests. Why is that important? Easy: most hotel guests in 2022 will expect and even rely on tech during their stay.
Not sure where to start? Think about what will bring the most value to your business. New hotel technologies aren’t just buzzy software or tech trends; they cater to guests' wants. Most guests aren’t willing to download an app for a hotel stay, so we’ll focus on trends in hospitality technology that use their mobile devices without requiring an app download.
7 biggest hospitality tech trends for hotels
1. Cloud-based property management systems
Whether you manage a few rental properties or you have a large hotel on your hands, managing reservations and guests can quickly become overwhelming. To stay on top of it all, you need simple property management software (PMS) to keep track of things like reservations, room assignments, and customer feedback.
Cloud-based software isn’t the future — it’s now. Don’t let your PMS stay in the past by keeping clunky desktop and server systems to manage your hotel. There are a lot of great cloud-based options. Some of the best choices include Cloudbeds, Little Hotelier, and Mews. But every hotelier needs different things in their PMS. Research the ones that fit your specific needs and budget best.
Cloud software is trending on two fronts: the simplicity it brings to managing a hotel, and it helps make staff more productive without burnout. This is more vital than ever for the industry since finding new front desk workers, cleaners, and beyond has become more and more of a challenge.
Beyond being a future-looking system, cloud software does help keep the lights on.
2. Increased API integrations
An application programming interface (API) integration is a connection between two or more apps allowing them to exchange data. One typical example of API integration is an e-commerce site using Paypal to accept payments.
There are a lot of valuable ways to use API integrations in hospitality. API integrations on booking sites such as Booking.com and Google Hotel allow customers to see booking prices and options from multiple hotels all in one place. Another helpful API option for hoteliers is connecting your revenue managing system (RMS) with your property management system (PMS). This allows your RMS to provide useful data to inform the pricing you can offer.
You can also connect your systems to room service, like an online ordering system. For example, Bbot partners with hundreds of services to provide thoughtful integrations for the hospitality industry. Some of the most helpful integrations Bbot offers for hotels are integration with reservations systems and POS services. With one scan of a custom QR code, guests can order to the pool, cabana, or even up to their hotel room.
3. Guest room tablets
Go beyond a television; there’s a new screen that’s dominating the hotel market. Providing in-room tablets for guests opens up new possibilities for how you can offer your services. Tablets give guests ready access to everything you offer without picking up a phone and can give them the option of ordering anything they may need with just a few taps or swipes.
With nearly 97% of hotels experiencing staffing shortages in 2022, tablets can also be a helpful reprieve on the capacities of overworked staff. Tablets don’t eliminate the need for hotel staff but complement their service and provide them with bandwidth for higher-quality interactions with guests.
4. Mobile ordering
Room service is all about convenience, so why not make the experience even more convenient? Mobile ordering options for room service give guests a seamless way to place a room service order.
Mobile ordering lets you place the most popular items front and center. And you can easily update the menu with a few clicks. Hotel guests’ top preferred room service picks? Breakfast items. Feature items like your tasty french toast or mouthwatering eggs benedict to help make ordering more convenient for guests. You can also give guests the option of ordering meals in advance so they can order breakfast the night before.
Bbot mobile ordering technology can help you set up these options and more. And the other bonus about mobile ordering? Fewer mistakes. When the customer inputs an order themselves, you have a lower risk of orders getting lost in translation, meaning happier customers and less waste for you due to the need to remake orders.
5. Expanded cybersecurity
The hotel industry is uniquely vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks, and the COVID-19 pandemic introduced even more risks for hotels. Covid-themed email phishing campaigns and vulnerabilities through contactless check-in options are a few of the things you should be on the lookout for.
But you don’t need to fear a cybersecurity breach at your hotel. There are some simple ways to expand your cybersecurity and reduce the risks:
- Assess the risks: Research and think about ways your hotel is vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks. Think about how you use technology and how these things may put you at risk.
- Educate staff: Regularly engage with staff about common methods for cybersecurity attacks. Teach them to be wary of certain types of emails and how they open them.
- Use cybersecurity software: Install cybersecurity software on hotel computers and tablets to safeguard against phishing campaigns and viruses.
- Protect shared accounts: Put secondary authentication requirements in place for any shared accounts, as these are particularly susceptible to cyber-attacks.
- Speed up response to threats: Set up cybersecurity software to send alerts of any suspicious activity so that you can respond in real-time.
6. Voice-activated room service
We all know how to hit up Alexa or Google when we’re home to help us play music, check the weather, or help us out with other tasks, so why not help guests feel more at home by offering this same convenience during their stay. You can keep up with their needs and employ voice-activated service as an assistant to your concierge staff.
Big-name hotel brands such as Marriott, Best Western, and Wynn Resorts are already testing this hotel trend. Guests can check the weather, order food, or report room issues by making their voices heard.
7. Hotel partnerships with streaming services
Ever checked into an Airbnb, settled in to watch a movie, and flicked on the TV only to find a random Netflix account logged in from a past guest? Yeah, we have too, and it feels pretty awkward.
Avoid this inconvenience for guests by offering your own streaming services. Most guests expect to use some streaming service during a hotel stay, whether it’s their own service or one provided by you. The popularity of cable services has long been winding down, so you don’t want your hotel to feel like your grandma’s house when guests turn on the TV.
Consider different ways you can make the streaming experience easy for guests. For one, make sure your wifi supports streaming. Consider offering streaming services on in-room tablets. Or, put services in place that allow guests to stream their accounts to hotel devices without that pesky risk of accidentally leaving their account logged in when they leave.
Making tech work for your hotel
Remember to use tech solutions that work best for your property and brand. Trendy tech solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all. It may not be the best idea to jump on every hotel trend.
As you consider these trends in hospitality technology, consider the ones that fit your current needs and capacity well. You don’t want to implement five new tech solutions only to burn out your staff on training. Work to slowly implement crucial tech solutions that will give you the highest ROI.