When contemplating hotel technology in general, there is frequently a feeling of dread. Technology can undoubtedly seem complicated, expensive, and challenging to master. It’s normal to be wary of using technology to manage your property rather than the familiar pen and paper or excel sheet methods.
However, it is crucial to keep in mind that hotel technology, including hotel management system, is ultimately made to accomplish the opposite. This means that problem-solving and convenience are the goals of creators and inventors of hotel software. According to studies, hoteliers have witnessed a 135% increase in revenue and a 71% reduction in guest complaints since implementing hotel technology.
For all the hotel managers, general managers, and owners out there looking to modernize their businesses to keep up with the times, we’ve put together a basic guide on the topic to help demystify hotel technology, such as hotel management system.
We sincerely hope that it clarifies things for you. So let’s go!
Let’s start with what is hotel technology.
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Hotel technology is a group of tools and methods used by industry professionals to carry out hotel-related tasks in a technical manner.
According to this definition, even the most basic of tools, like the dumbwaiter, and processes, like using said dumbwaiter, would be regarded as hotel technology. But in recent years, hotel technology has advanced significantly. When we talk about hotel technology today, we’re talking more or less talking about digital technology being created for and used in the hospitality industry.
These are the tools and techniques designed to help hotels keep up with the modern traveler. To put it another way, a lot of hotel technology is online. This means that hoteliers use hotel technology online to conduct various tasks, including marketing their properties, room distributions, streamlining daily operations, handling reservations, and more.
Here are some of the many IT hotel technologies that are making hotelier’s lives easier.
1. Hotel Management System
A hotel management system, also known as a front desk system, is a cloud-based software that streamlines and organizes hotel operations. Hotel software is highly beneficial for hotel managers and owners as it helps them with various hotel tasks, including monitoring and updating reservations in real-time, hotel inventory and housekeeping, all guests check-ins and check-outs, and more.
The convenience of a PMS is due to how quickly it updates and can be used to complete any task. Numerous hotel software are now cloud-based and some even offer a mobile app, allowing you to manage the property while taking care of guests’ needs. The best part, your online channel manager and online booking engines can easily be integrated with your hotel management system which helps streamline bookings from all sources (more on that later).
2. Channel Manager
What if we told you there is a technology for you that if you make a single change to the details of your room in one portal and your connect channels update automatically? Integrated channel managers make it easier and improve your ability to sell your rooms on websites like Booking.com, Expedia, Airbnb, or other online travel agencies (OTAs).
Without having to divide your inventory among the various sites, channel managers let you connect to as many channels as you want. This is due to the system’s real-time communication and data updating, which prevents double booking or over booking. If a room sells on Booking.com, the number of rooms that are still available across all of your connected channels will be decreased correspondingly including your hotel management system.
3. Booking Engine
The technology behind direct booking does exactly what it says, it’s a tool called a booking engine that allows your guests to make direct reservations with you instead of an OTA. Through your website and social media, you can offer maximum personalization and take direct reservations by using an online booking engine.
Visitors can easily begin the reservation process by clicking “book now” on your website. Once a booking is complete, you will receive the full amount without having to share a commission with anyone. It can be advantageous for small properties operating on a tight budget to avoid commission fees for OTAs whenever possible. However, their marketing power will always be valuable, so it’s critical to strike a balance between the two.
4. Website technology
You don’t necessarily need to hire pricey and time-consuming web developers to have a hotel website. You can easily create one using a template-based website builder. A brilliant solution called a hotel website builder can quickly produce stunning, Google-friendly websites.
Users can manage and update their websites without any design or technical knowledge with the right provider. Although everything is customized to a certain extent, it is all templated to be straightforward. The result is a website that your guests will enjoy perusing, and they will be more likely to book the property as a result of a favorable online experience.
In order to maximize your revenue management, real-time pricing intelligence will enable you to track and evaluate your rivals while also making wise decisions about your own prices.
Hotel revenue management can be a difficult task, particularly in a market where the number of hotels and distribution channels is constantly growing and the market is becoming more and more complex.
The addition of real-time access to revenue management metrics to your pricing strategy is invaluable.
The right tool will enable you to monitor your rivals while also providing access to a variety of rules and notifications that will ensure you never miss a shift in the market. In order to determine the best course of action for your pricing strategy, you can also forecast demand and pull reports. You can meet your revenue goals while using inexpensive revenue management software if you have access to a flexible and intelligent tool that allows you to see rates.
6. Global distribution system
Your hotel will be listed on a wider variety of booking “maps” by connecting to a global distribution system (GDS), increasing the likelihood of people finding and booking it. With a GDS, you can access a global network of hundreds of thousands of travel agents and advertise your hotel property there.
An integrated GDS provides the opportunity to offer packaged deals with airlines and car rentals to further encourage agents to promote you and guests to book with you. Furthermore, a GDS can be updated in real-time and serves as a trustworthy middleman, saving you time and trouble.
7. Contactless Technology
Spending less time in direct contact with other people was one of the main recommendations to protect human life during the pandemic. Since the virus is contagious from person to person, any in-person contact could be harmful. This tempered traveler’s desire to travel and see the world.
The good news is that contactless check-in and check-out are now an option thanks to advancements in hotel technology. Through contactless technology, you can reduce wait times at the front desk to protect your guests, allow guests to bypass all check-in and check-out lines and enter and exit their rooms without touching, and increase guests’ trust in your establishment and your health and hygiene practices. Most importantly, boost the likelihood that guests will decide to stay at your hotel.
8. Keyless door entry
This kind of technology enables hotel staff to pair customers’ phones with electronic room locks using NFC, RFID, or Bluetooth, doing away with the need for a physical door key. Almost a big addition to the contactless technology movement.
In hotels, there are numerous examples of robots that can welcome and check in guests, handle luggage, offer information, and handle concierge duties. Robots in hotels are the next big thing and have the potential to drive up bookings.
Additionally, because they don’t require salaries, the hotel will eventually have more money to invest in improving the guest experience.
The drawback is that should anything go wrong, it might be costly and time-consuming to fix and prove inconvenient for a guest who then needs to wait for assistance from a real person.
Because many travelers still value the human touch, there is also a chance that the widespread adoption of robotic technology will alienate some guests. Robotic devices will only become more useful and efficient over time. Hotels should seriously think about investing in artificial intelligence given its growing popularity. The upcoming years, however, need to be approached cautiously.
10. In-room technology
A lot of hotels are giving their guests portable devices such as tablets in their rooms so they can control the smart TV, order room service, request housekeeping, change the lighting, and more. When it comes to guest-operated technology in a hotel, this is likely to have the greatest impact on reservations.
All of this is reasonably priced and offers a degree of control and convenience that visitors really enjoy having while traveling. Because it’s what guests expect from a contemporary hotel stay, most hotels should be able to implement at least some version of this technology, and it will be worthwhile in the long run.
Every significant change has advantages and disadvantages. Although the use of hotel technologies like hotel software and robots increases management and operational effectiveness, it also increases the need for data privacy and security. A minor data breach can have long-term negative effects on the reputation of your company.
The courtesy and warmth of people cannot be replaced by machines, but they are a cool replacement for tasks requiring a lot of manual labor. To give your guests a reason to come back, you’ll need to strike a delicate balance between technology and hospitality.