Technology has become practically essential to society, and the hospitality industry is no stranger to these digital adaptations. Over the years, the industry has made some changes to accommodate shifting customer preferences, economic fluctuations, and global events such as the pandemic.
Some of these major changes have occurred in order to keep up with labour shortages, increasing operation costs, and changes in customer needs, so the industry can continue to thrive and provide the best service to its customers.
From hotels and resorts to restaurants and travel services, the digital transformation in hospitality has become integral to a more efficient, personalized, and customer-centric hospitality experience.
Read on to discover how technology has had a significant effect on the hospitality industry.
How has Hospitality and Tourism Management Adapted to Technology?
One of the most noticeable and far-reaching changes brought about by technology in the hospitality industry is the way people book their stays and dining experiences. In the past, guests would make reservations over the phone or in person.
Today, online booking platforms and mobile apps have revolutionized this process, allowing guests to pick their own preferences and complete the booking process completely by themselves. This use of technology provides travelers with convenience, choice, and flexibility while allowing businesses to manage their inventory efficiently.
These platforms also offer a wealth of information to potential guests, enabling them to view photos, read reviews, and access a range of amenities. Additionally, artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots are increasingly being integrated into reservation systems, allowing guests to inquire, book, and personalize their experiences with ease.
How the Industry Uses Post-Pandemic Hospitality Tech
Tech innovations have streamlined certain processes such as contactless check-in and check-out processes. Gone are the days of waiting in long lines at the hotel reception. With the use of mobile apps and other contactless services in hospitality, guests don’t even have to meet their hosts face to face. They can now skip the front desk entirely and head straight to their accommodation or check out in time for their flight or other travel arrangements without having to worry about queuing.
The adoption of contactless payment methods has further accelerated the shift toward seamless, efficient transactions. Guests can settle their bills with digital wallets, credit cards, or mobile payment apps, enhancing the overall experience.
This is especially important in a post-pandemic world as this limits physical contact and lowers health risks. It addresses the changing expectations and concerns of guests, enhances safety, increases efficiency, and allows businesses to adapt to a new and evolving landscape.
If you are interested in learning more about the advances of technology in the hospitality sector, consider studying for a diploma in hospitality and tourism management. The Canadian College of Technology and Business (CCTB) has a range of programs, including the Hospitality and Tourism Management with Co-op program program, which can give you well-rounded knowledge to help pave the way to an exciting career in hospitality and tourism.
Personalization in Hotel Technology
One of the most exciting transformations is the industry's growing ability to personalize guest experiences. This isn’t just about customization but using data-driven insights and the power of technology to cater to guests on an individual level. In fact, according to Revinate, 86% of consumers report that personalization plays a role in their purchase decisions.
Through data analysis, hotels can tailor their offerings to match individual preferences. By examining guest profiles and behaviour, AI systems can anticipate and meet specific needs such as room temperature, dietary requirements, or entertainment preferences.
This personalization extends beyond the physical environment. Hotels and restaurants can use data analytics to refine their marketing efforts. By tracking customer behaviour and feedback, businesses can offer targeted promotions and exclusive deals, making guests feel appreciated and valued.
All of this is made possible by the Internet of Things (IoT) in hotels which means guests are able to control settings and ambience with a simple voice command or a tap on their smartphone.
The Emergence of Smart Rooms
IoT has led to the clever creation of smart rooms. These rooms come equipped with devices that enable guests to control various aspects of their environment, including lighting, temperature, and entertainment systems.
Voice-activated assistants, like Amazon's Alexa or Google Assistant, allow guests to request room service, make reservations, or get recommendations without lifting a finger.
The beauty of smart rooms is their ability to offer a highly customized experience. Guests can create the ambiance they desire, turning their rooms into cozy havens or vibrant workspaces, all through a smartphone app. This level of personalization enhances guest satisfaction and leaves a lasting impression.
Smart rooms are also a boost to the hospitality industry economically as well with ABI Research expecting 6.4 million smart hotel room devices to ship worldwide. That’s double the 3.2 million smart hotel room devices since 2022.
Sustainability in the Hospitality Sector
In an era of growing environmental awareness, the hospitality industry is turning to technology to promote sustainability. Many hotels and restaurants are adopting eco-friendly practices, including energy-efficient lighting and heating, water-saving solutions, and waste-reduction strategies. Smart technology plays a vital role in this transition.
For instance, hotels can monitor and optimize energy consumption using smart sensors and automation. This not only reduces operational costs but also contributes to a more eco-conscious image, attracting environmentally-conscious guests.
The Future of Hospitality
The hospitality industry's digital transformation is not just a passing trend but a permanent shift that is set to continue. There are several exciting developments on the horizon for the industry, some of which are listed below.
Technology’s impact on the hospitality industry is impressive and multi-faceted. It has led to more efficient operations, personalized services, and sustainability efforts. As travelers and diners continue to embrace technology in their daily lives, the hospitality industry must keep up to meet and exceed expectations.
The Canadian College of Technology and Business (CCTB) offers a range of programs on technology in the hospitality and tourism sector. If you are interested in learning more, check out programs such as the Hospitality and Tourism Management Co-op program or the Hospitality and Tourism Administration with Co-op offered by CCTB.
These programs will provide you with skills that you can take into many different roles and ensure a successful future in the hospitality industry.
Click here to browse hospitality programs from CCTB.