Four Seasons CEO Talks Hotel Technology

As we gear up for the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) next week in Baltimore, MD, there has been a lot of discussion about the future of technology in the hospitality industry. In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Kathleen Taylor, the CEO of Four Seasons Hotels stated “Technology is one of the leading edge issues for consumers in all segments. It’s less an amenity and more like hot water, in the sense that everyone is expected to have it.” Ms. Taylor also spoke to what they have done to address the hot issue of charging for Wi-Fi in their properties. Many travelers these days are frustrated with properties that charge for Wi-Fi access, and strongly believe it should be complimentary. In order to overcome this problem, many Four Seasons properties have gone to the tiered model where there is either no charge or a lower charge for basic access so guests can check email or surf the web, and then a higher charge for guests that want to stream, download, or watch TV on their device. Ms. Taylor acknowledged that not every guests needs a lot of bandwidth so this allows them to better tailor to their customers needs and charge accordingly. To read the full interview with Kathleen Taylor, click here.