Skip to main content
hotel front desk and lobby

The Evolution of Hotel Property Management Systems: Trends and Innovations

Learn how the latest PMS advancements are transforming hotel operations and guest experiences, with a focus on personalization, Attribute-Based Selling, and future technological integration.

The hotel industry is undergoing a significant transformation, driven by advancements in Property Management Systems (PMS) and the increasing demand for personalized guest experiences. This Q&A session with Dan Hogan, Chief Product Officer, Stayntouch, delves into the latest trends shaping PMS development and their profound impact on hospitality operations. Some of these trends include the push for greater guest control, the integration of advanced technologies like Attribute-Based Selling (ABS), and the importance of seamless collaboration between hotel departments. As the industry navigates these changes, understanding the role of technology in delivering exceptional service remains crucial for staying competitive in an ever-evolving market.

What trends are having the greatest impact on hotel PMS development today?

Personalization is the wave sweeping across our industry in 2024. Today’s travelers are looking for ways to expand their control over the travel experience, and these trends benefit hoteliers who are willing to invest in new technology. The best way to expand a hotel’s scope of personalization is to route as many hotel services as possible through the Property Management System. This has led operators to increasingly seek technology partners willing to share data between departments. As a result, collaboration is hospitality’s pathway to personalization.

What is your approach when reacting to emerging PMS challenges?

First, we as technologists must examine what drives guest desires and why hoteliers interpret these drivers as challenges. If guests are looking for more control over the booking process, that tells us that hotels still need help to meet or exceed their expectations once they arrive on property. If guests are looking to skip the front desk, does that mean they are avoiding human interactions, or are they motivated by shorter check-in times and a way to avoid standing in line? We must first ask questions like these from the guest’s perspective and work backward to find ways operators can meet or exceed these expectations. With this in mind, Stayntouch recently unveiled UpsellPRO, an addition to our existing cloud PMS framework. UpsellPRO enables operators to seize new revenue opportunities while providing guests much more flexibility and control over their stay through the implementation of Attribute-Based Selling (ABS) technology and dynamic pricing.

How will Attribute-Based Selling be leveraged through the hotel PMS in the near future?

Two leading criticisms of traditional booking methods include vague room descriptions and difficulty customizing room features. Attribute-Based Selling, or ABS, is the practice of unbundling individual guestroom elements during the booking process to ensure guests can choose their desired services, amenities, or aspects of their stay experience. This entire process is driven by the hotel PMS. Once guests book their stay and identify the desired attributes, the PMS tracks all this information and delivers the necessary data to operators. Operators can react in advance to provide the best possible guest experience by ensuring amenities are available and staff members are adequately prepared. The PMS will additionally assist with managing a hotel’s “inventory of attributes,” with automated, demand-based and dynamic pricing so operators don’t have to manually adjust prices. 

What are some of the most misunderstood aspects of ABS?

Keeping track of individual attributes across a hotel can be challenging, but this process is largely automated. Instead, the most significant misunderstanding regarding ABS concerns its perception among hospitality leaders. ABS ascended in popularity in the airline industry, where it found success as the tool of choice for crafting the ideal flying experience. However, some hoteliers are resistant to implementing ABS because of a concern that it will require the overhaul of their inventory category management, which currently focuses on providing static room upgrades. That’s why UpsellPRO is so unique, it allows hotels to leverage ABS within their existing room-category framework which means that the revenue opportunities are abundant.  A recent study we conducted in 2021 found that 64 percent of travelers believe that attribute-based shopping would provide more value during the booking process, and 59 percent said the ability to customize their guest room presented a “good deal” for consumers. 

What should hotels know about ABS before it becomes more prominent throughout hospitality?

The most essential thing hoteliers should be aware of regarding ABS is that it doesn’t add to their properties’ operational overhead or headache. ABS is primarily delivered behind the scenes, with the hotel PMS automatically managing inventory and providing instant availability to maximize potential conversions. Operators don't need to set prices manually or check in on guests to provide targeted upsell or cross-sell offers. Additionally, ABS provides real-time consumer and performance data to understand guest preferences or price sensitivities. 

Some believe innovations taking place this year are changing how hoteliers interact with their PMS from the ground up. How do you envision operators interacting with the PMS in five years?

Our industry is already trending in this direction, but in five years, the hotel PMS will truly serve as the operating system for the entirety of the hospitality delivery process. Hospitality technology partners are already prioritizing integrations and systems that promote collaboration between departments, skill sets, and perspectives, in some ways out of convenience but primarily out of necessity. Travelers today are seeking hyper-personalized experiences regardless of their hotel of choice, and the only way to meet their expectations is to feed information into the hotel PMS and use it to manage not only on-property operations, but also every guest touchpoint. 

How much technology is too much? This is the hospitality industry, after all. Is there a line to be drawn regarding hotel technology?

In certain circumstances, there is a case to be made that technology can reach a point of diminishing returns for hotels. Interactions at the front desk and during one’s stay are often some of the most rewarding moments guests experience on property, and with the rise of AI, some technologies can hinder the ‘hospitality’ experience. However, PMS innovations, particularly ABS, are in a different category. These innovations help guests obtain the stay experience they envision during booking while assisting operators to focus on hospitality rather than managing digital platforms.

What most excites you about hotel technology today?

The last business cycle was a democratizing moment for hospitality technology. The barriers to entry for creating powerful, efficient tools in this space continue to come down, and today, the best ideas are winning. We are inching closer to this becoming a reality for all hospitality technology as new tools are integrated into the PMS. The result will be more opportunities to drive revenue across hotels within existing room categories and an enhanced, personalized stay experience for any guest who seeks it out.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds