The SIHOT Blog
All a hotelier wants for Christmas is full occupancy and a busy restaurant. So how can you appeal to guests during the festive season? From family gatherings in remote locations and city hotels encouraging festive market shopping and sightseeing, to properties which encourage reconnecting with nature and an escape from the hustle of the holidays, Christmas is a time of creativity for hoteliers.
The proliferation of data in smart hotels has made security an even greater concern for hoteliers. Skilled hackers have always exploited vulnerabilities in data systems and even major groups like IHG, the Hilton and the Marriott have been compromised. With the Internet of Things (IoT) increasingly embedded in hotels, the amount of vulnerable personal data collected has increased exponentially.
The industry is facing three massive challenges: 1) low-occupancy levels; 2) understaffing; and, 3) increased guest standards. Guests are returning to hotels with more expectations – and hotels need to deliver. This means understanding the trends and responding to them.
An explosion of new payment apps and options is transforming how customers like to pay. The world of payments was traditionally controlled by banks but new players and modes of payments have opened the market up. The advantages for the hospitality sector are potentially huge. These new technologies make it easy to travel without disruption across international borders with more affordable and instantaneous processing than credit cards.
How we rate hospitality has adapted, from the simple 1 – 5 star classification, to branded affiliations, independent certifications and even review ratings through the likes of Tripadvisor – growth of the hospitality industry has changed in many more ways.
The hospitality industry has struggled with staff shortages for years. But the recruitment crisis is now a whole lot worse all over Europe, the UK and the US. Driven by the pandemic, hospitality professionals were left to ponder their futures while hotels were closed. Hundreds of thousands left the sector with huge numbers not returning due to poor remuneration, inflexible shift patterns and available hours, intense stressful positions and lack of training.
Automation has been around for a long time in hospitality. The first automated reservation system was introduced by the Sheraton hotel chain in 1958. But the hotel sector has continually steered away from automation in the fear it depersonalised the guest experience and failed to realise its potential.
High-value guests have different requirements to hotel visitors from other demographics. That’s why you need carefully targeted strategies to attract them to your hotel – and to keep them coming back every year.
A hotel holiday resort behaves incredibly differently to a standard hotel and as a manager you have to be accustomed to juggling multiple products and priorities across the property. All while adapting to a new era of hospitality services and guest experiences.
While for many hotels augmented reality (AR) is not immediately around the corner, it is most definitely on its way. Innovative brands and digital companies are developing innovative and creative AR solutions that bring the travel experience to life.
The hospitality industry has been through some rough weather. The horizon is beginning to clear but we can’t rest on our laurels.
Hospitality thrives when delivering exceptional experiences.