The Future of In-Room Technology
October 6, 2016 8:46am
From cord-cutters whose primary source for entertainment is streaming services to business travelers who demand high-speed internet, hotel guests are expecting more and more when it comes to in-room technology that seamlessly integrates into their lifestyle.
That being said, in-room technology upgrades should be prioritized based on what impacts the guest’s buying decision and return intent, and if prioritized correctly, can raise hotel revenue. For example, hotels are using new systems to move their printed guest room directories into an electronic compendium accessible through in-room TVs. This gives properties a new distribution channel to advertise special events, restaurant offerings and more in a space where consumers are already digesting content.
Enhancements to in-room offerings can also have operational benefits. As guest rooms get smarter and more connected, proactive notifications can alert associates about maintenance concerns before they become a problem for the guest. And while guest service is often best handled face-to-face, providing the option for self-service gives guests the opportunity to decide what type of experience that they would prefer to have.
Here is a look at what is on the horizon in the world of in-room technology:
Non-Negotiable High-Speed Internet
To date, the most emphasis has been placed on making improvements to hotel wireless networks and high-speed internet systems. Fast, reliable and easily-accessible internet is no longer viewed as an amenity but is now considered a requirement. Streaming applications such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Pandora are, in many instances, already part of guests’ core content consumption habits, and accommodating this lifestyle will become critical to maintain high levels of guest satisfaction. It is also the foundation upon which any additional upgrades are made (even beyond the guest experience).
Bigger is Better
Guests expect an array of HD channels and premium content (e.g. HBO) and they want to consume that content on a large, flat-screen HD television, and most hotels have already upgraded and replaced first generation HD televisions. Concurrently, these same hotels are also upgrading in-room entertainment systems to provide casting or mirroring capabilities via mobile phones, or smart apps built directly into the TV infrastructure.
Integration is King
Within five years, hotels will further embrace in-room entertainment infrastructure to add additional control points to make a smarter, more integrated guest room. Some properties are already offering guests the ability to control lighting, heating and cooling and even drapery from the television remote control, mobile phone or voice commands. This will continue to expand into more robust offerings like room service or housekeeping requests through your in-room devices. Hotels will also be able to use Bluetooth beacons to track guests as they walk onsite to preset certain settings and preferences before they enter their rooms.
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As an award-winning hotel development, ownership and management company, Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company has spent the last three decades partnering with owners and its investors on more than $1 billion in in premium branded properties across the United States and Canada. As an operator, both for third party owners and partners, Concord Hospitality instills value from the ground up, developing and managing with a sustainable viewpoint, a focus on quality and a hands-on involvement to ensure long-term profitability.
Contact: Alex Ellis
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