8 Technology Trends to Last

The recently published Lodging Technology Study by Hospitality Technology reveals trends and future development in the industry spurted by the increasing amount of Wi-Fi-enabled guest devices. These 8 trends summarize the findings from the study.

#1. Mobile Websites: 76% of hotels reported mobile website adoption for 2013 and 60% for 2012. Mobile websites are easy to implement and 91% of hotels are expecting to develop mobile websites by the end of the year. Surprisingly 9% will bypass the opportunity.

#2. Mobile Apps: ranked 2nd among Customer Engagement Technology (CET), the most common mobile app functions for hotels are:

  • 72% have the ability to make room reservations
  • 50% provide property searching without GPS
  • 44% collect real-time guest feedback
  • 41% provide local information or a concierge-type function
  • 38% offer GPS-based property search and loyalty account access
  • 34% include the ability to book restaurant and spa reservations

To be successful, properties need to re-architect and streamline services, including optimizing personalized services across devices in a consistent and non-cumbersome manner.

#3. Digital Signage: For 2013, static signage remained the most popular with 5% growth and adoption of interactive signage didn’t change from 2012. But by 2015, digital signage adoption is expected to grow 66% for static signage and 56% for interactive signage. Popular features include event listings, weather and news feeds, and maps. Interactive devices also include concierge-type functionality and on-property navigation.

#4 Kiosks and Guest Computers: Hoteliers are finding value in providing computers and/or kiosks in the lobby or other public spaces for check in and out and local information on the fly. Hoteliers project continuous adoption of kiosks and guest computers through 2015.

#5. Tablets: as an in-room amenity, tablets grew only to 8% in 2013 (from 6% in 2012), but by 2014 usage is expected to grow near 28%. Although luxury and boutique hotels are leading in providing in-room tablets, the personalized nature of the devices (for music, reading, etc.) suggest guests may prefer to bring their own devices. Meaning that the Wi-Fi experience should be optimized for mobile devices.

#6. Mobile Payments: this technology is still in the experimental stages and there are a few early adopters. But over the next 2 years, a projected 39% of hotels are planning to implement mobile payment solutions.

#7. Mobile Room Keys: In 2012 no U.S. properties reported use of mobile room keys, but for 2013, 8% reported adoption. By 2015, 34% of hoteliers will be seeking to replace and upgrade their guestroom door locks.

#8. Social Media: In 2012 73% of hoteliers said they used social media as a marketing tool. For 2013, that figure grew to 91% - outranking any other interactive marketing tool measured, including traditional loyalty programs.

Hotels are using social interactivity in everything from games and contests to promoting C2C marketing, and engaging with customers in ongoing conversations.

All-in-all future trends indicate investment in mobile websites and applications, digital signage, kiosks, tablets, mobile payment, mobile room keys, and social media.

What technology are you investing in for 2014?

Download the original report here.