As consumer preferences have shifted, extended-stay hotels are now appealing to a wider range of travelers. While historically popular among long-term business travelers, extended stays have now become a top choice among leisure travelers looking for flexibility and control over their stay.
Through their apartment-style design, extended stays offer a greater level of autonomy that is currently filling a large need in the travel industry. As a result, the experiences that draw guests to traditional hotels are different than those choosing extended-stay properties – and at the center of these experiences is technology.
Extended stays are faced with unique technology requirements to create a home-away-from-home feel. Today’s extended-stay guests are also bringing more devices with them during their stays – ranging from computers and tablets to even their own security cameras.
These guest expectations have furthered the need for extended-stay hoteliers to invest in technology that supports and offers the same entertainment options guests would have at home. That’s why casting has become a cost-effective solution for extended-stay hotels to meet the specific needs of their guests.
Gives guests the content they want
How people consume entertainment has evolved dramatically over the past year, especially at home. The extended-stay market sees guests staying for weeks or even months at a time. For this reason alone, the hotel room serves as their home, office and everything in between. As a result, there is significant value in adding the comforts of home to the in-room experience.
But when it comes to technology, many hotels have historically stopped investing after upgrading their rooms with smart TVs, even though the guest experience has evolved into much more. Too often, guests are now forced to bring their own technology to access the content they want during extended stays. However, this can become problematic and complicated when trying to plug into the TV or switching to the right input, resulting in a poor in-room experience.
Casting makes it easy for each guest to stay in control of what they want to watch, when they want to watch it. By providing a curated selection of TV programming along with casting, hotels can cater to each guest by providing a variety of content viewing options.
A secure way to access content
While ease of access to content is important, keeping personal data safe is also a high priority among guests. Casting alleviates the need for guests to log in to subscription-based apps through the guest room TV and instead keeps personal information secure by accessing the content through their own device. Guests don’t have to worry about accidentally connecting to the room next door or forgetting to log out when they leave.
Casting also eliminates the need for guests to download additional apps on their own device, enhancing the ease of use and familiarity among guests. For those who struggle to remember passwords to their various viewing apps, the ability to use their own device to access content is a game changer.
Little equipment is needed
Going high-tech doesn’t have to mean incurring exorbitant costs. Casting technology can be implemented with a hotel’s current televisions through the use of a dongle or an existing set-top-box. This requires little up-front costs for hoteliers, resulting in a long-term return on investment.
With the launch of many new streaming services, not all hotels can adopt them into their native in-room technology to keep up with consumer viewing trends. Casting ensures that guests have instant access to the streaming services they want and gives them greater control over their viewing options.
Increases guest satisfaction
When implementing a strategic technology plan, it’s important for extended-stay hotels to think about the unique ways guests are using technology during their stays. When done right, a well-executed technology strategy can increase guest satisfaction and ultimately drive brand loyalty.
Hotels that are on the front of technology curves can see an exponential rise in guest satisfaction and repeat customers. Casting is becoming increasingly popular across homes nationwide and therefore is quickly becoming an expectation among hotel guests. It’s important for hoteliers to realize that as casting becomes more commonplace, it will be more notable when hotels are lacking these capabilities.
As consumers expect greater choice and control over the content they watch, casting is a simplified, secure and seamless way for guests to access their favorite content. By bringing the familiarities of home to the in-room experience, extended-stay hotels have a unique opportunity to capitalize on the change in consumer viewing habits while also meeting the need for greater privacy, comfort and control that today’s travelers are looking for.
About the author:
With over 25 years of experience, Robert Grosz is a leader in the hospitality and technology industries. He is committed to helping hotel owners and managers create value from technology investments by enhancing the customer experience and forming long-lasting partnerships with best-of-breed technology solutions. Robert currently serves as the EVP and Chief Commercial Officer for World Cinema Inc.