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2018-02-11

DIGITAL AND TECHNOLOGY LEAD HOTEL TRENDS FOR 2018

Hotels are using digital agencies and technology to enhance the customer experience both offline and online. This article summarizes many of the trends and features that our digital agency customers are looking for.

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Digital Hotel Trends for 2018

Just coming back from the HO.RE.CA expo for hotels we have hotel trends on the mind.  Anyone who has traveled and visited a hotel recently has probably noticed something different about hotels?  What is it?  Sometimes it is obvious and sometimes not, but hotels are integrating technology in a big way.  Hotels are increasingly focusing on how technology how can change, improve and reinvent the customer experience.  Whether it is simplifying the check in process, offering free Wi-Fi, or providing room access using your mobile device, hotels are now on the front line of digital and Omni-channel efforts that ensure the customer experience is the same online or offline.  

In this blog, we are looking at some of years biggest hotel trends including some real-life examples of Backbone customers who are bringing technology and digital into their offline experiences.  

If you are here to just see some trends for 2018, here you go:   

  • Cloud-based operations
  • Mobile and Voice Response functionality
  • Mobile first SEO strategies
  • Data driven design
  • Nature-inspired and pared-down designs based on local experiences
  • Special offers driven through marketing tools

These trends all have a common thread – technology. But more often than not they don’t have the experience or teams to support their efforts and that is working with companies that understand data driven design, Omni-channel marketing, mobile and voice-based functionality, and most importantly the customer experience. As an example, at Backbone we utilize “creative management” services as well as an array of digital marketing services that align to help companies identify their objective, evaluate and implement different technologies and tie those back into marketing and branding efforts.   While this seems like the above statement is simple statement it isn’t.  It requires a level of digital transformation forcing hotels to rethink their experience and to utilize the troves of previously unused data to create an amazing experience.   

Hotels have always been good at customer service but that is no longer enough. Guests today are increasingly discerning and have higher expectations than ever before. Hotels are now beginning to recognize that they are sitting on a treasure trove of data and are beginning to put that to use to preemptively address and meet customers’ needs by better understand customer behavior.  Part of what is driving the change is a new type of traveler and increasing competition created by the sharing economy, and because of that the hotel industry is using hospitality, localization and technology to cater to a rapidly changing customer base.  So, what are some of the areas Backbone’s digital customers have focused their efforts on.  Described below are several key areas that tie into greater trends listed above.

Connectivity

How many people today remember calling the front desk for room service?  Gone are the days of needing to call the front desk or concierge for requests. In today’s modern hotel, guests can simply message or order what you need from the hotels corresponding mobile apps. My own recent experiences using Hilton’s app have been nothing more than spectacular.  As an example, you can use the Hilton Honors app to complete your check-in process before you arrive, as well as unlock your room using your mobile device as a mobile key.   I think the biggest challenge I had in more own experience is waiting for the 3 to 5 seconds for the phone to unlock the door. 

The Smart Room

In 2018, some of our client’s will be including high-tech amenities that go beyond in-room iPads and Wi-Fi access.  We’ve all seen SmartTVs from companies like Samsung and LG, but what about Smart Rooms.  Over the next year hotel rooms will offer the ability to control room features right from the app.  For example, Hilton’s app will allow guests to adjust their room lighting, temperature and TV all from their smartphone. We’ve also discussed upcoming implementations of voice-activated services. 

Hotel Design

Today’s travelers are not the baby boomers of the past.  The professional, or traveler, or today typically prefers to be more interested in some kind of public, shared space to work, socialize or hangout.  Millennials have transformed the way hotels think about public space as what was once a place to greet travelers upon arrival has now turned into a professional’s work area with a wide range of sitting features, desks, etc. 

Creating the Experience

Airbnb’s impact on the hotel industry can’t be understated.  It allows anybody traveling in a different location to instantly experience real life and participate in local eateries, coffee shops and events.  Because of that, being able to deliver a local experience has become a top priority for hotels.   Hotels are doing this by creating “experiences” within their room rate and allowing visitors to first see it by leveraging technology including utilizing AI and search engines to show and allow guests to search for topics they are interested in.  From there, they can order the desired experience and go and see it upon arrival.  

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Backbone Canada

55 East 7th Ave Vancouver, BC M-F 10am-6pm PST info@backbonetechnology.com (+1) 604.713.8560

Backbone Canada

55 East 7th Ave Vancouver, BC
M-F 10am-6pm PST

info@backbonetechnology.com

(+1) 604.713.8560
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Backbone Latam

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Backbone Latam

Cra 9 # 77-67, Oficina 804
M - F 9:00 a.m - 7:00 p.m

salesteam@backbone.digital

(+57)(1) 7424247
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Backbone Greece

Leof. Dimokratias 11, Melissia 151 27, Athens M-F 10am-6pm PST athens@backbonetechnology.com (+30) 210.680.3380

Backbone Greece

Leof. Dimokratias 11, Melissia 151 27, Athens
M-F 10am-6pm GMT+2

athens@backbonetechnology.com

(+30) 210 680 3380

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