From: Robin Mangold, Principal
I read today that soon some hotels will give their guests the ability to open the room door with a smartphone. I imagine it will be a while before I will stay in a hotel with this feature. But it got me to thinking, what other technology advancements are we seeing in hotels? On a recent vacation, my husband and I could open our hotel door with a swipe of a wristband. Tablets are being used to check guests in when they arrive and interface with the hotel's property management system. Hotels are utilizing social media to monitor comments and communicate with guests.
In the larger hotels, I see signs of these technology advancements. But I wonder how the smaller hotels are adapting to the quickly changing technological environment they now face.
From our discussions with managers in these smaller facilities the desire is there for change but the direction of that change comes from corporate management. This tends to create a disconnect between hotel management and the technology that is being deployed. There is not a complete buy-in from the individual hotel and very little enthusiasm for the enhancements.
When the people using the new app, device or service have a voice during selection, the implementation has a much better chance for success. This is true for both the back office and guest services. Smaller hotels make this approach possible since there are only a few individuals impacted by the change.
What is your experience with deploying new technology in hotels and resorts?