For some, the links between the hospitality industry and technology can be difficult to appreciate, but these important connections are helping to create leading businesses within the sector. Not only are these businesses able to better meet the needs of their customers with technology, but also the needs of their own organisation.
The services offered to customers are very important. They do not just expect digital or satellite TV in their rooms, they also want access to high-speed internet for work and leisure. Many people now want to download music and films while mobile. This is a key function of smart phones and even though users can connect their smart phones through their mobile service provider, most will expect to have access to a connection through their hotel.
Some technology solutions can now offer basic wi-fi access for all customers, with the opportunity for guests to make an additional payment if they want access that is more comprehensive. It’s not just customers that need reliable internet access – the business itself also needs it. The demands placed on internet services are forcing many businesses to review their wireless internet solutions.
Where hotels cater for business customers, the estimate is that 79% of these customers will return if satisfied. Internet access is extremely important for business customers, in that they need to be able to connect to their networks and emails to work. If they are not satisfied with the wireless internet available, then there is a good chance that next time they visit the area they will choose a different hotel.
Integrated technology and hospitality solutions include real-time monitoring of the business premises, as well as communication requirements such as telephones, video conferencing and mobile devices. There are also front-of-house systems, or property management systems, needed to manage reservations and payments. Larger businesses may also be using additional solutions such as food-and-beverage systems.
Customers are now making more web bookings and many people prefer to communicate by the web, email and by social networking tools such as Facebook. Because these are helping to increase income, different communication tools need consideration. Using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools also helps to keep the business in touch with its customers. These CRM tools are also good for targeted marketing that can increase the chance of customers returning for another stay.
Conferences are another big contributor to the industry and more businesses are considering the role of technology such as mobile apps within venues. Delegates may want access to specific solutions during a conference, such as a Twitter site that will allow them to tweet with other delegates during the event.
Investments in global-distribution systems (GDS) are also increasing across the industry. Most airlines now operate their ticket sales through GDS and these let customers book their accommodation at the same time. Many hotels are part of these systems and they are contributing a significant amount of revenue to the industry. In 2008, around 70% of travellers made their reservations online.
In these troubled financial times, the hospitality industry needs to demonstrate what it is able to offer customers to increase the value of their stay. It seems that the way forward is to continue to embrace new technology trends, as these are more important than ever in shaping the industry.
Author Bio:- The above article is composed and edited by Irene Simpson. She is associated with many technology communities as their freelance writer and adviser. In her free time she writes articles related to Broadband Expert, wireless internet, etc.