What Solutions Are Hotel Execs Looking for at HITEC?
Hospitality Technology’s annual Lodging Technology Study surveys hotel executives from hotel properties representing a diversity of property types and revenues. In addition to reporting on budgets and planned investment, the study reveals business drivers and what hoteliers are prioritizing for technology investments in the year ahead.
As these same hoteliers head to Minneapolis for the annual HITEC conference, technology providers are no doubt hoping that their offerings will prove to be the solution executives are seeking for their properties. In good news for vendors, 54% of hotels plan to increase IT budgets for 2019 and for those that plan to up tech spend, the focus will be on deploying new and/or upgraded digital and guest-focused technologies with an emphasis on connectivity and security.
To get a sense of what has the greatest importance for hoteliers’ technology goals, executives were asked to rate a list of objectives via a relational index. High priorities for technology investments in 2019 include: 1) improving digital engagement, 2) supporting new revenue opportunities, 3) improving guest analytics, and 4) enhancing payment and data security.
4 TOP AREAS HOTELS ARE LOOKING TO SPEND ON IT
Improving digital engagement has been steadily increasing in priority over the past several years. Hotels across segment types are seeking solutions that will allow them to interact with guests via online and mobile channels.
Of note is the rising priority of supporting new revenue streams. Steady competition from OTAs and the likes of Airbnb has required that hotels put more focus on ways to drive direct bookings, offer home-sharing or rental services, and add Amazon-like omni-channel functionality to their website to fully display services and offerings.
Hotels want solutions that will provide meaningful and actionable insight to guests. Having this information easily accessible and interpretable will foster appropriate and impactful actions in all other areas of focus.
With great data, comes great responsibility. As the hospitality industry lives in fear of being breached, the drive and need to have valuable data is only growing. With increased risk of data and payment breaches, hotels continue to seek the next-generation solutions that will future-proof and hack-proof systems and protect business and customer data.