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Executive Q&A: How Self-Service Technology Is Transforming Hospitality

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera
Thomas Klein, Key Account Manager, Advantech

HT’s survey data suggests that lodging tech budgets are growing, including the allocation of more resources to research and development. What spending priorities should be top of mind for hotel tech leaders?

1. Smart hotel rooms. Smart hotel rooms allow guests to easily personalize their rooms to fit their needs. The technology in hotel rooms enables the guest to adjust the room temperature and lighting, and guests can even stream their favorite shows through a remote or smartphone. Such rooms can also be programmed to automatically reduce power usage during certain hours of the day. Besides, they can shut everything off in a room when guests are not present.

2. Mobile check-in service. A mobile check-in service reduces contact between guests and employees, and this can give guests greater peace of mind. Aside from this benefit, a mobile check-in service can speed up the arrival process and allow guests to get to their rooms faster.

3. Increased internet bandwidth. People travel with more devices than ever before, and they’re using these devices to stream videos, surf social media, play games, attend video conferences during their stay.

4. Face recognition technology. Face recognition technology is a type of biometric technology that is able to recognize people by the features on their faces. Uses in the hospitality industry can include security and improved customer service. Properties can use facial recognition as a way for guests to access their rooms

We see high adoption rates for self-service tech such as mobile reservations, check-in/out, and digital room key. How can the move to mobility and self-service help drive revenue and operational efficiency?

Interactions at the front desk should be minimized as much as possible. A mobile check-in service reduces contact between guests and employees. Aside from this benefit, a mobile check-in service can speed up the arrival process and allow guests to get to their rooms faster.

We also see strong support for redefining technology ROI, which has historically been challenging to calculate. How should hotel leaders redefine tech ROI?

ROI should be both financial and customer experience for example, artificial intelligence has the ability to streamline operations, taking over repetitive tasks like answering frequently asked questions. These hotel technology trends can free up employees’ time, so they can focus on the most high-touch and personalized service.

Security is always top of mind. How can hotels ensure privacy and data security in an evolving landscape?

1. Train every hotel staff member

2. Set strong rules and regulations

3. Use cybersecurity tools

4. Conduct routine penetration tests

5. Encrypt payment card information

6. Keep devices up-to-date and back up data

7. Isolate sensitive information

8. Adhere to technologies that are compliant with data security standards

How does the voice of the customer (VoC), including your clients and your clients’ customers, help inform your R&D?

1. Interview customers to get product feedback

2. Pay attention to social media and spot trends for new products

3. Offer a feedback form to get valuable information from the customer on product needs

4. Track end users to see uptrends or downtrends in product momentum

5. Get demo samples in the hands of customers to get impressions

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