When we talk about technology, the first word that comes to mind is ‘evolution’. This growth is not just about new trends but also includes the idea of innovation in different sectors of the industry. One such example is of the ‘hospitality’ sector that has time and again experimented with the concept of technology and its threads. Just like a tree branching out, tech development gives birth to too many new breakthroughs, which are essential to implement.
A Glimpse of the Journey
It’s no secret that the growth of internet and technology has also fuelled up the expectations of consumers so much so that they now can’t imagine paying for a room that’s not well-equipped. When it comes to the hospitality segment, these revolutions and changes are welcomed, mostly because of the needs created. Focusing on the plus side, a few years ago, I could have never imagined opening a resort in a small hamlet of Himachal Pradesh and spreading the word through online mediums. Similarly, hoteliers these days are betting their money on the power of technological advancements because they know it’s going to reap benefits for the future, to say the least.
The Latest Buzz about Tech Developments
Firstly, I want to talk about the power of online reviews and social media presence of a brand. Whether or not someone has stayed at a hotel, the moment they open these reviews on OTAs such as BookMyTrip, Booking.com, TripAdvisor and the likes, they can see more than a glimpse, a gist of how a brand is performing in terms of guest satisfaction. It’s a make or break situation for the hoteliers! But this is just a hint of what technology can do. Hotels around the world are not shying away from experimenting and the biggest example of this change is the introduction of Robots, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Voice Enabled Devices, etc. If someone had talked about it 20 years ago, people would have laughed on the idea but it’s no joke that hotels are using these robots at the concierge too. Moreover, hotels currently have also implemented Chatbots as it’s the need of the hour. Whatever update that guests are looking for, including updates on rooms, best rates available and real time activities, a Chatbot can easily cater to them with instant responses.
The biggest leap in hospitality industry is hands down, the AI revolution. Although it’s still a new concept, hoteliers all across the world have started playing with this idea to ultimately increase their bookings and be known for personalised assistance to each and every patron.
In order to stay relevant and be a top player, it’s important for us as hoteliers to understand and comprehend on the notion that’s doing the rounds. The need of more usage of technology to be successful is now more than just an impression, it has become a reality and more so, the inevitable. Given the pace at which hospitality sector in India is moulding itself, there’s hardly any scope for errors because there are thousands of brands that are doing the best they can.
The Way Forward
Consumers today are more tech-savvy – be it booking a room or checking-in, and that’s the kind of enlargement that we can’t do without. Therefore, we’re looking at a scenario 5 years from now where each and every hotel, no matter how big an entity, is expected to grow exponentially as guests will become aware of both mid-segment as well as niche brands.
Needless to say, no matter how much we evolve with time, technology is one such thing that will be one step ahead of us, and it’s time we catch up across all segments, including obviously Hospitality!
Mr Avesh Sharma
Co-Founder and CMO of Woodays Greenhub Kufri.