Next-Gen Hotel Tech Stories Prove Most Popular in July
As Hospitality Technology looks back on July 2018 and its most clicked on articles, a key trend began to emerge: hoteliers are keen to know what their competitors are doing with next-generation technology implementation. For instance, news items on Marriott's recent launch of an augmented reality app for its Mexico and Caribbean resorts as well as its launch of facial recognition technology in China were top hits, as was a report from Allied Market Research discussing the opportunities and forecasts for the facial recognition market. According to the report, this market is expected to generate revenue of $9.6 billion by 2022. IHG's announcement of its new smart rooms using voice command technology in China and Best Western's news that its rise in guest satisfaction is due to its use of virtual reality training program were also heavily clicked on. Hoteliers also seem to want to know more about potential use cases for artificial intelligence in hospitality as a contributed article from Mist discussing five ways hoteliers could harness AI for the hospitality experience of the future was popular.
Marriott, Best Western and IHG's announcements demonstrate that hotels have found new ways to engage with guests and/or improve the guest experience. Their use of AR/VR, voice command/artificial intelligence and facial recognition tech aligns with findings from HT's 2018 Lodging Technology Study. According to the study, 70% of respondents saw benefits to using artificial intelligence/voice enabled devices and 42% saw benefits to using augmented reality and virtual reality experiences.
While wanting to improve the guest experience is a noble reason for this tech implementation, there is likely a more mundane explanation. Hotels could be putting more muscle behind next-generation technology implementation because "ample online inventory allows guests to price shop and puts the pressure on hotels to push boundaries to win and retain guests," states the 2018 Lodging Technology Study. Guests want the latest and greatest, something they can talk about with friends and share on social media. When hotel brands consistently deliver technology upgrades that improve the guest experience, customer loyalty is more likely. And with 46% of hoteliers wanting to improve digital customer engagement/guest loyalty in 2018, according to HT's study, it's unsurprising that some of the major industry players have begun to make great strides in implementing AR/VR, AI and voice command technologies.