The Institute of Hospitality (IoH), an international professional body for hospitality, has published a new report highlighting technology’s key role in enriching the guest experience and boosting revenue and profits after lockdown. The report has been timed to coincide with the anticipated easing of social distancing restrictions and the re-opening of hotels for business as usual in May 2021.
Titled Facing the future: Tech-led Post-Pandemic Growth Strategies for Hotels, the report offers strategies applicable across the entire hotel sector. However, it is expected to resonate particularly with small and medium-sized hotels who have not yet embraced the many technological solutions already adopted by the larger hotel groups. It was produced by the Institute in collaboration with IoH business partner and technology supplier to the hospitality industry - Zonal.
The report quotes research findings from sources including Booking.com and GO Technology. It highlights how hotels may be missing out on opportunities for growth, including avenues to enhance customer loyalty, now that travelers are relying more than ever on technology to help them feel safe during the pandemic.
Moreover, it describes how technology that captures and integrates relevant data at every point of the guest journey equips hoteliers with the knowledge needed to upsell experiences, critical to improving sales.
The report underlines the fact that hotels must increasingly compete with local restaurants and pubs whose customers have rapidly increased their use of technology during the last 12 months, particularly in terms of ‘order and pay’ solutions. Hoteliers are therefore encouraged to take inspiration from research undertaken last year to show that two-thirds of hotel guests claimed not to have used technology to make a dinner reservation during their stay, nor to pre-order food and drink.
It also underscores the value of technology with the capacity to integrate guest data drawn from every aspect of the business -- including the property management system (PMS) and electronic point of sale (EPOS) – and to generate reports for managers in real time. Operationally, such technology enables the efficient planning of everything from staff levels to food orders, but the knowledge produced can also help to inform marketing and promotions.
Peter Ducker FIH, who wrote the foreword to the report, said, ‘The Institute of Hospitality is delighted to publish Facing the future: Tech-led Post-Pandemic Growth Strategies for Hotels. The report is in keeping with the institute’s purpose to promote our members’ lifelong learning and professionalism. Moreover, it is concise and easy to digest, but packed with the most up-to-date strategies, backed by research, for growing your hotel business using the right technological solutions. These solutions are already out there, and savvy hoteliers will want to make full use of them to recover and thrive after this pandemic. What’s important is to be able to recognise what they can do for your business and to adopt them.
‘Knowledge is power, and hoteliers can power their way to success by better knowing and understanding their customers, what they want to do and buy, with the right technology.’
Alison Vasey, Group Product Director at Zonal, said:
“All the signs point to a staycation boom this summer and hoteliers who embrace technology will be the ones that can capitalise most on this opportunity. Our research shows that technology not only makes guests feel safer but also improves their overall experience.
“It can play a vital role at every stage of the customer journey and is here to stay even after the pandemic has passed. Hoteliers that embrace the benefits of integrated technology in terms of delivering improved customer experiences and driving revenue, will be best placed to succeed in 2021 and beyond.”
Facing the future: Tech-led Post-Pandemic Growth Strategies for Hotels is available to download free of charge at https://www.instituteofhospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Zonal-WP-Tech-led-Post-Pandemic-Growth-Strategies-for-Hotels.pdf