How hospitality is adapting to a contactless world

How hospitality is adapting to a contactless world

eHotelier 25 June 2021 – The pandemic led to an increase in contactless technology and experiences in the hospitality industry, and even as we return to a new normal, many of these innovations are likely to stick. A hotelier’s job is to make guests comfortable, and if guests have become accustomed to new ways of doing things, then hotels will need to accommodate.

However, instead of removing the personal touch, contactless technology can actually provide a more pleasant — and personalized — experience for guests. Throughout 2020, hospitality and travel companies found ways to provide memorable experiences while improving health and safety standards. It’s also nothing new — as people do more on their phones, online retail companies have been developing strategies and systems for years that hotels can now take advantage of. Virtual tours, video, streaming, and other tech tools are quickly becoming necessities for hoteliers.

Guest expectations have changed
Guests are eager to have more control when it comes to their own experiences, and they want hotels to provide a simple (yet functional) digital experience that reaches across all departments. They want choices when it comes to communicating with the hotel, being able to pick up whichever device is nearest to make requests, update reservations, and manage their stay. Guests also want convenience. This includes not having to wait for a waiter to make a payment at the end of a meal, skipping the front desk entirely, or not having to pick up the phone to order their car from the valet. It’s control and convenience — plain and simple.

The importance of data for a contactless experience

We expect data management to become more important in day-to-day hospitality operations, especially in on-property activities, guest preferences, hotel restaurants, and facilities used for events and conferences. If we have data online that’s entered by guests and easily accessible by staff, we don’t need to have people bother with keypads or give that information to a worker on-site in close contact. And as elements of the hotel experience that were once done in-person switch to digital, the potential synergy means new levels of personalization and efficiency.