08 December 2019

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Tech Talk: Tech Boom in Hospitality Industry

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It has been found that Hospitality industry is making great business nowadays  and they are the ones who are getting huge benefits by providing cutting edge technologies to their customers. 

Technology is giving hospitality industry a huge gateway of opportunity to make their guest feel cosier, comfortable and feel at home. Today people love to stay connected irrespective of where they are. So, while offering them better spa, better food, better room service, better gym equipments, hoteliers are also looking at offering them connectivity in a better way. They look at technology as an important tool to get closer to the guests.

Now there is a growing concern over the kind of equipment that  are being used in hotels and spas. There have been reports of spa treatments or fitness techniques causing health problems either due to bad quality of equipments or  lack of expertise from the part of instructors etc.

From the health expert’s perspective, it becomes extremely vital that equipment used in gyms or even spas are in sync with different body types and should be acceptable on a standard prescribed on medical reasoning. If this aspect got any level of ignorance this could become a problem area for the guest who uses it as well as for the hotelier who keeps it in his hotel vicinity.

Having said this, there are certain technological tools that lets the gyms and spas more trendy as well as more gadget friendly.

As an example, there are few treadmills which are fully compatible with iPods and are also equipped with some wellness audio visuals. These treadmills now also have all the necessary medical tests features and are quite well accepted among the health enthusiasts.

Technology is also making these machines very personalised especially, when the use of such equipment goes for the entire day. Another area which drives the use of technology is -- security. Be it locking system of hotel rooms, hotel reservation system or any other form of customer’s interface with the hotel institution, security is entirely automated. “We generate business critical data every second. Each guest who stays with us, gives business to us and generates most important data for us. We need to protect that data at any cost. These days guests are demanding a secure infrastructure for them to happily stay,” says Amol Kumar Katiyar, security consultant for the hospitality segment.

While elaborating security concerns for the guests, today’s hotelier is also looking at offering a secured infrastructure in order to provide basic connectivity service. Internet connectivity is also a priority aspect of customers and guests. Wi-fi is one of the proffered technology in today’s context in the hotel industry.

As markets are maturing, the products that hoteliers offer must evolve and offer something more than just vanilla essence. Telecommunications as a technology pool, for instance, fits into this space. What was offered at a price to consumers in a new market must be made available free of cost to cope with toughening competition and changing demands, that is something in the minds of most of the enterprising hoteliers.

The hotel industry is going through a similar transformation, albeit a little more gradually. Products and services that came with a price tag are now becoming a part of the tariff to attract and retain guests, particularly in business hotels. This could be  presented as an attractive marketing package. Wi-Fi is a good example. Demands are changing and these days even leisure travellers might want to opt for hotels that offer free internet service.

According to the hotel industry stakeholders, Wi-Fi is a service that has a strong potential to attract customers, especially the business travellers. And in today’s market perspective, business travellers segment is the biggest chunk of business. While most hotels are not even equipped to offer the Wi-Fi service, whether paid or not, some that do are charging some price money for it.

However, in an estimated market research it is found that around 35 per cent of customers or guests at any given point of time use Wi-Fi services in hotel. So industry experts expect to see an upsurge in these numbers in the next couple of years. Once this becomes understood offering among the customer’s community it will be easier for the industry people to consider this offering free or part and parcel of the overall stay for their guests.
It is important to note that many hotels are charging for this service only for lower-end room categories and club members, executive rooms and suites are excluded from the purview of internet charges.

As of now Wi-Fi accounts for a very small proportion in the entire set of bills involved in room cost. Hence, if the service is free, it is primarily difficult to identify whether the same has been excluded or not. On the contrary, high room costs don't justify Wi-Fi service as an amenity because that is anyway believed to include the cost of the service.

Since the number of Wi-Fi users is less, many would not like to get into a room when the customer doesn't need the service at all. This is true for hotels that offer an all-inclusive package. Customers would rather prefer to dwell in low-cost room where facilities are chargeable, as and when used, rather than becoming a unnecessary burden.


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