Early adopters of cutting-edge technology are more the exception than the norm in the hospitality industry.
That’s why many hoteliers have been slow to transition to the cloud and roll out new innovations. They have also been among the hardest hit by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
But once this crisis passes, borders start opening and fears of social contact subside, travelers are likely to start filling hotel rooms in record numbers, taking the vacations that they unexpectedly put on hold. Many of them will arrive at their destinations with expectations that have been entirely reshaped by a year in lockdown.
To help this risk-averse industry modernize to meet those expectations, technology providers must nurture a larger ecosystem that’s building cutting-edge solutions. That means delivering open architectures that facilitate third-party integrations with property management systems (PMS), the heartbeat of every hotel.
Hospitality technology companies are adamantly working toward this goal to help the industry recover and accelerate innovation, such as delivering the industry’s first set of truly open REST APIs. These interfaces empower software developers—whether they’re promising startups or innovators from other sectors—to rapidly and cost-effectively connect all of their services.
Adapting to ever-changing guest expectations
COVID-19 has changed how many of us procure goods and services—and some things won’t change back. Consumers now routinely expect the option of using their smartphones for frictionless shopping, scheduling, and support.
As hoteliers rebound from the blow of the last year, they’re going to have to satisfy those evolving preferences among guests looking for no-touch check-ins, mobile-enabled amenities, chatbot assistance, keyless entries, concerted scheduling and billing services, and many other partner-developed solutions.
In the past, integrating those kinds of third-party features into a PMS was a brittle and expensive affair. Migrating operations to the cloud and tapping into available integrations via an open architecture will help to solve those interoperability challenges, while also bringing down costs and speeding time to market.
Many hotels have already transitioned to the cloud and are reaping the benefits. Now with the post-pandemic reality in front of all of us, this only creates a greater urgency for others to make the journey toward the cloud.
Ultimately, as an industry, the cloud and availability of open architectures will spur further innovation by attracting new and existing technology vendors that help hoteliers tackle the unique challenges of the moment.
We are at the cusp of a hospitality renaissance of sorts and by doing everything we can to speed recovery efforts and innovation, we will all realize the many opportunities to come in a post-COVID world.
Will you be ready?