Ho­tel Study Re­veals Plans for At­tract­ing Guests

Im­prov­ing guest ex­pe­ri­ence through tech­nol­ogy spurs 74% of ho­tels and re­sorts to im­ple­ment lo­ca­tion-based tech­nolo­gies to tai­lor ser­vices.

Tourism Tattler - - EDITORIAL - By Jeff Sch­mitz.

Re­sults of the re­cently re­leased global Ze­bra Hos­pi­tal­ity Vi­sion Study – a body of re­search that analy­ses the ho­tel in­dus­try and trends in trav­ellers’ pref­er­ences and tech­nol­ogy re­quire­ments that af­fect their over­all sat­is­fac­tion – found that changes in con­sumer ex­pec­ta­tions for fast WiFi, help­ful guest as­sis­tants and loy­alty re­wards have prompted the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try to in­vest in tech­nol­ogy that en­hances the guest ex­pe­ri­ence and pro­vides added con­ve­nience for smart­phone check-in, lo­ca­tion-based of­fers and ser­vices and dig­i­tally-en­abled loy­alty pro­grammes.

The hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try is be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly com­pet­i­tive mar­ket, es­pe­cially with the pro­lif­er­a­tion of niche ho­tels and home rental web­sites.

To con­tinue to at­tract and de­light guests, ho­tels and re­sorts are mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant tech­nol­ogy in­vest­ments to en­hance ho­tel ser­vices. This in­cludes en­abling guests – 92% of whom carry a smart­phone – to use their smart­phones to do ev­ery­thing from or­der­ing food to re­ceiv­ing text alerts on room readi­ness and pos­si­ble up­grades.

Al­though the im­pact of tech­nol­ogy varies by mar­ket, dig­i­tal dis­rup­tion is chang­ing the way ho­tels and guests in­ter­act in ev­ery re­gion. Ze­bra will con­tinue to de­liver guest en­gage­ment and staff ef­fec­tive­ness so­lu­tions to bet­ter serve guests.

KEY FACTS Wider WiFi ac­cess

To help move staff to mo­bile com­put­ers for more guest in­ter­ac­tion, ex­pand lo­ca­tion ser­vices for guests and de­liver re­li­able wire­less ac­cess, 77% of ho­tels/re­sorts sur­veyed world­wide are ex­pand­ing WiFi cov­er­age. 66% of guests report they have a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence when as­so­ciates use the lat­est tech­nol­ogy and 68% of guests ex­pressed a de­sire to use their smart­phone to speed up check-in.

Cus­tomised of­fers and loy­alty pro­grammes

Nearly three-quar­ters (74%) of guests sur­veyed ap­pre­ci­ate ho­tels that cus­tomise mes­sag­ing and of­fers, and 75% are will­ing to share per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, such as gen­der, age and email ad­dress, in ex­change for tailored pro­mo­tions, coupons, pri­or­ity ser­vice or loy­alty points.

Lo­ca­tion-based ser­vices

To cre­ate highly cus­tomised of­fers and perks, 74% of sur­veyed ho­tels/ re­sorts are plan­ning to im­ple­ment lo­ca­tion-based tech­nolo­gies within the next year – pri­ori­tis­ing guest recog­ni­tion and an­a­lyt­ics, geo-tar­geted mo­bile of­fers and spe­cial pro­mo­tions and up­grades. The study shows guests are less com­fort­able shar­ing their lo­ca­tion than their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, though at­ti­tudes dif­fer among gen­er­a­tions. 34% of Mil­len­ni­als are com­fort­able shar­ing their cur­rent lo­ca­tion com­pared to 13% of 50- to 64-year-olds.

Re­gional find­ings

Guest recog­ni­tion is the top driver for lo­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies in North Amer­ica where trav­ellers are least con­cerned about shar­ing their lo­ca­tion and so­cial me­dia pro­files and most will­ing to use self-ser­vice tech­nol­ogy.

Ho­tels/re­sorts in Latin Amer­ica are mov­ing fastest to im­ple­ment lo­ca­tion-based tech­nolo­gies where guests also have the high­est ex­pec­ta­tions for re­ceiv­ing per­sonal at­ten­tion from ho­tel/re­sort as­sis­tants.

In the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion, of­fer­ing spe­cial pro­mo­tions and geo­tar­get­ing mo­bile users are the top driv­ers be­hind im­ple­ment­ing lo­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies where guests are in­flu­enced most by help­ful guest as­sis­tants to stay at a ho­tel/re­sort.

Sur­vey Back­ground and Method­ol­ogy

Nearly 1,200 ho­tel and re­sort work­ers in IT, op­er­a­tions, mar­ket­ing or guest ser­vices and more than 1,680 con­sumers were sur­veyed in two sep­a­rate global stud­ies. The first study fo­cused on the ho­tel/re­sort in­dus­try’s views on guest needs, strate­gic tech­nol­ogy and ser­vice plans and vi­sion for the fu­ture. The se­cond study mea­sured trav­ellers’ pref­er­ences, tech­nol­ogy re­quire­ments and opin­ions on the fac­tors in­flu­enc­ing their over­all sat­is­fac­tion at ho­tels and re­sorts.

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