Hotel Internet Services (HIS), a full-service provider of internet services and solutions for the hospitality industry, has released the full results of its latest survey analyzing how in-room entertainment and technology expectations have continued to increase and how such trends mirror the growing prevalence and reliance on newer technologies in daily consumer life. Conducted on more than 700 guests and 200 hoteliers, HIS' 2020 survey findings serve as a follow up to similar studies performed in 2018 and 2016, and significantly illustrate that more and more guests are seeking to embrace advanced in-room services and amenities such as content casting and voice-activated functionality.
Of considerable importance to hoteliers is the survey's findings on the growing average number of personal devices that guests are now bringing with them and expect to connect to a hotel's Wi-Fi service. While 45 percent of guest respondents indicated that they travel with at least two devices, more than a quarter disclosed that they now travel with three, and almost 10 percent stated that they bring at least four. These findings combined with guests seeking to remain in guestrooms due to COVID-19 risks while attempting to keep themselves occupied will undoubtedly place a strain on existing hotel networks, with many likely needing to update their Wi-FI abilities in order to maintain a satisfactory experience.
Just as significant as understanding what needs to be considered to provide a reliable network connection, is the survey's findings over what guests now familiar with the multiple advantages of connectivity now look for from their in-room stay experience. With the mass adoption of streaming services and at-home casting technology by consumers, the desire to cast personal content from devices to guestroom televisions continues to grow rapidly, with 67 percent of 2020 guest respondents seeking availability of the feature. However, crucial for hoteliers is that 50 percent of guest respondents now indicate that the availability of wireless casting could affect their booking decision, while only 26 percent of hotelier respondents reported being currently able to offer the functionality. With the growing diversity of apps now increasingly used by guests such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Disney+ as demonstrated by 2020 survey responses and when compared to 2018's findings, HIS further reveals a greater need for hoteliers to adopt comprehensive in-room entertainment services that are compatible with the ever-expanding range of third-party applications in order to offer a high-quality and personalized guest experience.
"With much of the industry continuing to remain uncertain over how the current crisis will affect guest behaviors and expectations, it is more essential than ever to receive feedback from guests themselves so as to implement the kind of experiences that will ensure their return and ultimate satisfaction," said Gary Patrick, CEO of Hotel Internet Services. "Our newest survey findings importantly reveal that while guests may have once looked to hotel amenities for inspiration on how to improve daily home life, they now continue to increasingly expect hotel services to adopt the same heightened level of instant convenience and customization that consumer-based technology can provide. Taking these findings into consideration is especially important as a result of COVID-19 due to the ability of such technologies to not only enhance personalized guest experiences, but to also maximize operational efficiency along with social distancing and contactless abilities."
With virtual assistant and voice technology representing one of the fastest-growing technologies according to TechCrunch, another significant finding by the 2020 survey report is an increasing preference by guests for the feature to be made more widely available. 61 percent of surveyed guests in fact stated that they would likely use the technology if present in a guestroom, with 68 percent indicating that they would use voice to control in-room amenities such as thermostats and lighting. A sizeable number of respondents further indicated that they would use virtual assistants to request amenities or hotel information, enabling the ability to provide swift service for hotels operating with limited staff resources while reducing any health risks from direct physical contact.
To download a copy of the HIS survey on guestroom entertainment and voice control technology, please click here.