It is critical to not only keep track of the latest technology trends in the hospitality industry, but to move with the times, because the industry is highly competitive and those who do not adapt are left behind. Keeping your finger on the pulse is especially essential within the context of COVID, because customer expectations and requirements are continually shifting. In this article, you can learn more about the latest tech trends for 2022, which hospitality companies need to be aware of.
- What is Hospitality Technology?
- Why is Hospitality Technology Essential for Companies Operating in the Hospitality Industry?
- What Developments Are Responsible for the Latest Travel Tech Trends?
- Discover The Latest 14 Technology Trends in the Hospitality Industry
- The Latest Trends in Hospitality Marketing
- Find out The Latest Trends in Hospitality
- Learn More About Hospitality Tech During Courses
- Find a Hospitality Tech Job With These Job Boards
Hospitality technology is the name used to describe a wide range of IT, e-commerce and similar technology solutions within the hospitality industry. The use of this technology is typically intended to either make life easier for a business’s employees, or to improve the overall experience for hospitality customers.
This can be achieved in a number of different ways. For example, hospitality tech may help to increase automation and ease the workload for staff. Likewise, it could be intended to make processes faster, which could potentially save money as well as time. Alternatively, it could help customers at numerous points along the customer journey.
Why is Hospitality Technology Essential for Companies Operating in the Hospitality Industry?
The hospitality sector is extremely competitive and this makes it essential to keep up with the very latest hospitality technology trends. Technology can help businesses to streamline their processes, reduce costs, lower staff workloads, increase revenue generation potential and improve the level of customer experience is delivered.
By using the latest technology, it may be possible to improve the accuracy of work to a level that would be difficult for human staff to achieve on their own. Technology solutions can also make work more manageable and may make it easier to live up to the increasingly high expectations that today’s customers have.
Reasons to Stay Up to Date With the Latest Hospitality Technology Trends?
Perhaps the single biggest reason why it is crucial to keep up with the latest hospitality technology trends is that many other businesses will. This means failing to keep up could provide rival companies with a significant competitive advantage, especially if they adopt technology that appeals to customers, while you continue as normal.
Clearly, as new trends emerge and as technology becomes widely used, the customers within that industry are going to start to expect to see certain things. This makes hospitality tech essential for living up to customer expectations. Meanwhile, you can also gain a competitive edge over any rivals who have not adopted the new tech.
Adopting the latest trends also means you can make this progress a continuous feature. If you fall behind current trends, upgrading technology, later on, may become more difficult, because training requirements may be more extensive.
What Developments Are Responsible for the Latest Travel Tech Trends?
A trend can be described as a generalised change, development, shift in behaviour, or a prevailing tendency that can be observed within a particular field. A number of developments have been responsible for changes in consumer behaviour and that has subsequently led to the emergence of new hospitality tech trends.
Technological advances have played a significant role, especially with regards to the widespread adoption of voice search, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Contactless payments have become more popular in retail settings, while mobile check-ins have emerged in hotels, restaurants and airports. Many of these technologies have grown because they help to reduce friction, and cut waiting times.
It is also important to note that the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated some behaviours, especially with regards to hygiene. This has had a particularly strong impact on contactless payment technology and mobile check-ins, along with cleaning technology, such as cleaning robots, as these all minimise direct human-to-human contact.
Discover The Latest Technology Trends in the Hospitality Industry
Below, you find general technology trends in hospitality, along with tech trends that serve as a solution to the coronavirus pandemic and associated shifts in consumer behaviour.
1. Voice Search & Voice Control
Voice search is a growing technology trend within hospitality because a growing number of guests or customers are turning to voice search in order to find hotels, restaurants and cafes, so it is worth taking the time to properly capitalise on this. To do so, you will need to make sure your website and booking engine are structured so that the voice search can be used properly.
In some settings, demand for voice control is also growing. This could include everything from the use of smart speakers in hotel rooms, allowing for control of the various in-room devices, through to automated order taking in restaurants and cafes, meaning customers will no longer need to wait for waiting staff to take their order.
Video: Voice Search Within Hospitality
Video: Examples Voice Control Within Hospitality
Take a look at the “How Can Voice Control Benefit the Hospitality Industry?” post for further insights into this area of hospitality tech, including information on how voice control works and why it is so beneficial.
2. Contactless Payments
Contactless payments offer a number of advantages for hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars and cafes, which is why this has been among the main technology trends within the hospitality industry in recent times. Aside from speeding up payments and improving customer satisfaction, contactless tech is also easily compatible with loyalty programmes.
Mobile contactless payments are possible even if customers do not have their wallets with them, or even if their credit card has been misplaced. Additionally, with COVID firmly in the minds of hotel guests and other hospitality customers, contactless payments can also offer an excellent way to reduce human-to-human contact.
Video: How Does Contactless Payments Works?
Read the “Contactless Payments Are Becoming More Important Within Hospitality” post for further details about the value of contactless payments and the benefits for businesses and customers alike.
3. Robots in Hotels & Restaurants
One of the most exciting technology trends the hospitality industry is getting to grips with is the rise of robotics and the use of robots to carry out tasks traditionally performed by humans. For instance, robots can occupy a concierge role within hotels, welcoming guests and providing them with important customer information.
Similarly, some hotels have started to use robots for cleaning purposes, such as vacuum cleaning floors and even for germ killing. This is a practice that can be replicated across the rest of the hospitality industry too, including in restaurants, and the use of robots can also help to make an environment more COVIDsecure.
Video: Alibaba’s Robot Hotel is straight out of the future
Video: Robots Cooking – The Restaurant of the Future
Check out the article “Hotel Robots: An Overview of Different Robots Used in Hotels” and “Examples of Robots Being Used in the Hospitality Industry” for much more on the robots used in the hotel industry and for information on the advantages, disadvantages and precisely how they can be deployed.
Chatbots have been an emerging hospitality technology trend for several years, but the importance of this option is only growing, especially as customers now demand swift answers to questions at all times of the day. Hotels and restaurants will also often attract queries from people in different time zones, so having staff available is difficult.
A good chatbot will answer the most common questions without the need for any human involvement. In more advanced cases, the chatbot can obtain information from the customer and then pass the query on to a human staff member at the earliest opportunity, while also providing them with access to what the customer has said.
Video: Example Chatbot for Restaurants
The “Reasons Why Every Hotel Needs a Hotel Chatbot” post covers the topic in more detail. It is also worth noting that with the emergence of COVID, customers are likely to have questions about the topic. Chatbots can be ideal for answering here, as these questions will often require standard answers about procedures and policies.
5. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is another of the major technology trends in the hospitality industry that you need to be aware of. In particular, this can make the difference at the stage when customers are ready to make a booking, because it will give potential customers a much clearer sense of what they can expect when they visit for real.
During the COVID pandemic, those working in hospitality marketing have a particularly good opportunity to capitalise on virtual reality technology and gain an edge on rivals, because it provides customers with the ability to experience elements of a hotel or to see the layout of a restaurant prior to booking.
Most modern virtual reality tour videos can be viewed within a web browser, making them easily accessible. A greater level of immersion can also be achieved if users have access to a VR headset.
Example: Example of Cape Dara in Pattaya Virtual Tour
You can find out more about current VR tech trends by reading the articles, “6 Reasons Why Every Hotel Should Have a Virtual Reality Video” and “How Virtual Reality (VR) can Enrich the Hospitality Industry”.
6. Mobile Check-In
Mobile check-in hospitality tech is another important area to give consideration to, because it can help to improve the customer experience at the point of their initial arrival. This is especially beneficial, because first impressions can have a huge bearing on how customers ultimately feel about their visit or stay.
Crucially, mobile check-ins swerve the need for face-to-face customer interactions, meaning customers can potentially have greater flexibility in terms of when they check-in. This ties in with wider contactless technology trends within the hospitality industry, and can be especially welcome for those who are nervous about COVID.
Take a look at “Mobile Check-In App for Hotels: What Are the Benefits?” for further details.
7. Recognition Technology
Recognition technology is one of the most important emerging tech trends in general, but its potential uses in the hospitality industry are especially interesting. In particular, biometrics is being used to usher in a new age of seamless authentications, and this could benefit hotel processes and customer purchases.
For example, imagine if a fingerprint or facial recognition technology could be used in your hotel to unlock rooms. Now consider the uses of the same technology for check-in and check-out purposes. In the future, this technology is also likely to allow for completely seamless purchases, with payments being authenticated by touch.
Example: Facial Recognition Check-in in Marriott China
Find more detailed information about how your business can benefit from facial recognition in the article “4 Use Cases of Facial Recognition in The Hospitality Industry”.
8. Artificial Intelligence
In the modern age, customers expect to be able to interact with hospitality companies across a variety of digital channels and receive rapid responses. Of course, actually having staff monitoring all of those channels and delivering swift responses can be difficult, if not impossible, which is where chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) come in.
Chatbots are able to understand simple questions and provide answers almost instantaneously, taking the burden away from customer service staff and improving the experience for customers. Meanwhile, AI’s uses extend into other important areas for hotels too, including data analysis. In short: definitely, a tech trend to watch out for.
Example: Hilton and IBM pilot “Connie”
Find more detailed information and examples about artificial intelligence use cases in the hospitality industry in the article “How to use Artificial Intelligence in the Hospitality Industry”.
9. Internet of Things (IoT)
Another technological trend within hospitality management is the The ‘Internet of Things’, or IoT, which involves extending internet connectivity to everyday objects, devices and appliances. These devices can then collect data and communicate or interact over the internet, turning previously unintelligent devices into ‘smart’ devices, which are often semi or fully autonomous.
An example of this already being used with the hospitality sector is internet-enabled thermostats, which are used to automatically adjust room temperatures at check-in and check-out times, or in response to temperature swings caused by the sun, or by windows being opened. The same concept is also being deployed for lighting, improving energy efficiency by, for instance, reducing light intensity during daylight hours.
Example: The Internet of Things comes for the hotel network
Find more detailed information about the ‘Internet of Things’ in the hospitality industry in the article “How the Internet of Things (IoT) can Benefit the Hospitality Industry”.
10. Augmented Reality
Finally, augmented reality has exploded as a tech trend in a similar way to VR technology, but is even more accessible; typically requiring little more than access to a smartphone and the internet. Unlike VR, which places users in a digital environment, augmented reality is about enhancing the real-world environment through information overlays.
Again, this offers limitless potential. Imagine if your hotel provided AR-compatible wall maps, where customers can point their phone at the map and find out information about specific locations. Alternatively, how about an app, which allows users to see customer reviews of local restaurants by looking at the building through their phone?
Example: Augmented reality within the hospitality industry
Find more detailed information and examples about how augmented reality can benefit your business in the article “How Augmented Reality is Transforming the Hospitality Industry”.
Finally, the increased need for cybersecurity is among the most vital technology trends in the hospitality industry. Today, hotels and restaurants are more reliant on data than ever before, and make more use of IT systems than ever before too. However, this potentially leaves them in a much more vulnerable position.
Some of the biggest threats here include ransomware attacks, phishing attacks, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and human error within the company. For this reason, hotels need to invest adequately in cybersecurity awareness training, protect their IT systems, keep customer data secure and ensure data is backed up and recoverable.
12. Big Data
Data collection has grown rapidly across almost all industries, but can be used to great effect by hospitality businesses to provide more personalised experiences. As an example, it could be used by travel agents to make intelligent destination recommendations, based on age, gender, budget, previous locations visited, and so on.
Within the hotel industry, big data allows businesses to identify trends, which can be used for revenue management purposes. This allows for more data-driven approaches to pricing strategies and enables business leaders to gain a clearer understanding of current business performance and the outside influences that impact upon it.
Find more detailed information about the big data in the hospitality industry in the article “5 Ways Big Data Can Help Those in the Hospitality Industry”.
13. WiFi 6
Of all the technology trends hospitality industry businesses should be aware of, WiFi 6 is among the most important for improving the guest experience and the experience of hospitality staff. Put simply, WiFi 6 is the next generation of WiFi technology, and is more than 30 per cent faster, while also boasting significantly improved throughput.
Such improvements to WiFi technology are especially important in an age where businesses are using a greater number of smart or IoT devices, while customers are also increasingly connecting phones, laptops, tablets and other devices to WiFi. Faster and more reliable WiFi can help hospitality companies to stand out from rivals.
14. NFT Marketing in Hospitality Industry
NFT technology is still an emerging concept, but it shows great promise in the field of marketing. Within hospitality, it is most commonly used to boost brand awareness through special offers, or through partnerships with local artists or business partners. NFTs are also increasingly being used for transactions taking place within the metaverse.
Some hospitality businesses have experimented with the use of NFT technology for membership cards or customer loyalty schemes. The uniqueness of each NFT makes the technology well-suited to these purposes and means this is one of the technology trends hospitality industry marketers need to keep track of in the years to come.
For more information about NFTs in the Hospitality industry, read “Why NFT Technology is the Next Marketing Trend in the Hospitality Industry”.
In addition to understanding the latest hospitality technology trends, it is vital to keep up with the latest trends in hospitality marketing. Many of these trends are directly influenced by emerging technology, with examples including the rise of AI chatbots, while others are more general, like the growth of influencer marketing.
You can explore the topic of hospitality marketing further and learn about some of the latest trends you need to familiarise yourself with by reading “Hospitality Marketing: 16 Must-Know Upcoming Trends”.
Away from the topic of hospitality technology, there is a range of other hospitality trends that you need to know about. These include the increased focus on hygiene and cleanliness, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the increased popularity of healthy and ethical food options.
If you are looking to learn more about these trends and the other major developments within the hospitality industry, take a look at the “Hospitality Trends: The Latest Trends in The Hospitality Industry” article.
A good way to learn about hospitality technology, while also acquiring knowledge about other important aspects of the industry, is to study a hospitality course. Upon graduation, you should be equipped with the information and skills necessary to succeed in a career within the industry, or to advance your current career.
You can find out more about the importance of hospitality courses, while also having access to a list of websites for identifying these courses by reading “Hospitality Course: An Overview of Courses & Hospitality Educators”.
Find a Hospitality Tech Jobs With These Job Boards
Increased use of hospitality technology has moved many processes into the online sphere and job searches are a good example. You can now find jobs in the industry through a variety of channels, including industry job boards, recruitment agencies that specialise in hospitality, social media platforms, or applying directly through company websites.
To explore hospitality jobs further, access useful advice and view a list of some of the best channels to use during your job search, read the “Hospitality Jobs: Overview of All Channels to Find Your Next Job” article.
For those in the hospitality industry, keeping up with the latest technology trends is of the utmost importance, not only to improve the customer experience, but also to improve internal processes at the same time. By exploring the seven technology trends detailed above, you can help to ensure that your business stays ahead of its rivals.
Want to Learn More About Technology in Related Industries?
It is essential to be aware of all the upcoming technological trends in the hospitality & tourism related industries. While some trends can affect multiple industries, some are very specific for the industry. In the following articles you can learn more about technology trends withing different related industries.
- Hotel Technology Trends: 16 Upcoming Innovations You Must Know
- Key Technology Trends Emerging in the Travel & Tourism Industry
- Latest Restaurant Technology Trends You Need to Know About