In the current tourism industry technology becomes more important every single day. So it´s important for companies to develop themselves in order to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Technology develops itself faster than before and this effects both the expectations of the customer and the way accommodation providers perform their business. (Beltman & Peelen, 2013)
Some of the technology developments within the tourism industry are replacing employees with technology. In an increasingly technology dependent world, the main question is how to engage your customer to your accommodation or brand without a real personal interaction?
Nowadays guests are traveling with access to more mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. Wi-Fi is a must-have when choosing an accommodation. Guests expect to be able to connect to the Internet without too many interruptions. As a consequence, accommodations have to invest in a better and faster Wi-Fi connection so their guests can continue their daily business and use their devices. This constantly craving for Wi-Fi makes it harder for an accommodation provider to connect with their guests face-to-face, however due to new technologies it is still possible to connect with your guests via all the constantly connected devices. (Aurecon, 2016)
Besides a craving for Wi-Fi there is also an expectation towards some kind of automation among the current traveler. Guests of an accommodation expect that check-ins are efficient and automated, so this means that lines can be skipped and the check-in will be designed according a time-saving principle. This trend of automation is not only important for the check-in process but guests are also willing to order room service from a digital device. To make this kind of automation possible an accommodation provider has to design an App for all the customer-focused digital interactions. (Vong, 2012)
This App should be totally personalized because that is another expectation of the current accommodation guests. The App should contain for example suggestions for room service based on the guests’ preferences and past purchases. In this way organisations are being capable of managing the customers’ engagement. (Aurecon, 2016)
The next generation of high-frequency wireless communication technology is the NFC technology. NFC devices can communicate with each other when two devices are connected and this also enables the devices to transfer and store data. In the accommodation sector this technology can be used for self-check-ins by guests and the smart room keys; in this way your hotel room can be opened with your mobile phone. (Aurecon, 2016)
NFC technology can also be used to personalize the experience during a guests’ stay in an accommodation. Advertising can be targeted based on gender and age for example. So, if a mother enters the lobby and passes by a digital sign the advertisement can change to promote a local amusement park or promote the spa within the accommodation. (Aurecon, 2016)
All the above mentioned technological developments are offering accommodation providers to keep a personal vibe within the accommodation and especially with their guests. So despite all the technological changes it is still possible to engage your guests to your organization or brand by using the personalized aspect.
Aurecon. (2016). Technology in the hospitality industry – exploring the very latest trends. Retrieved from http://www.aurecongroup.com/en/thinking/insights/aurecons-successful-hotels/technology-in-the-hospitality-industry-exploring-the-very-latest-trends.aspx
Beltman, R., & Peelen, E. (2013). Customer Relationship Management. (2nd ed.). Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited.
Vong, K. (2012). How Technology in Tourism is Taking Travel to the Next Level. Retrieved from http://www.trendreports.com/article/technology-in-tourism