Tourism has been at the forefront of technological innovation for years, with developments for travellers who are increasingly demanding and compare what is on offer. However, without a doubt, the pandemic represents a turning point in the future of digital transformation for the hotel and hospitality sector.
If you had asked before COVID what was meant by the digitalisation of a hotel, many people would probably have focused on its presence on the Internet. However, the truth is that digital transformation goes beyond just having a website, allowing online reservations, being present on booking platforms or managing communication on social networks.
The events triggered by this global crisis have forced the sector to advance its planning for digitalisation and implement contactless technology, among other things. So today, when talking about digitalisation, we are also talking about electronic locks, remote access control and smart energy saving devices. In this article, we will have a look at some of the crucial factors in hotel digitalisation. Let’s begin!
Tech-savvy tourists and the new experiences they demand
The tech-savvy or “connected” tourist is defined in the Public Sector Observatory (OSPI) Report on the digital transformation in the Spanish tourism sector as “a technological traveller who is permanently connected to the world through their mobile phone”. This is the traveller of the present and is what the traveller of the immediate future will be.
Besides being tech-savvy, they, value customised proposals (helped by Big Data) and are “co-creators”. In fact, “trips are currently experienced three times: beforehand, while choosing and preparing; during the experience; and later, when recounting it”.
How then can the new demands of this permanently connected traveller be satisfied?
Go one step further in digitalisation: 5 examples of digital transformation
Thus, the mere appearance of an accommodation option on the Internet is not indicative of “digital transformation”. This phrase describes a whole world of possibilities opening up to make the work of hotels easier and the guest's stay more pleasant.
Electronic locks: goodbye to problems with physical keys
One of the great changes that hotels have experienced in recent years is the change from the mechanical key to the digital one, with all the advantages that this entails. Currently, Omnitec offers different digital key, solutions, which go beyond the Mifare proximity card, present in thousands of hotels. There is also the possibility of access using a numeric code and via Bluetooth. These are without doubt differential points that the “tech-savvy traveller” will appreciate.
Online check-in and entry via Bluetooth technology
The pandemic has also accelerated the implementation of online check-in, using the travellers' details recorded before arrival.
Today, guests can access their rooms directly via a unique numerical code, specific for each room, or via Bluetooth technology.
Here is the case of the Hotel Casa Palacio Pilar del Toro in Granada, which installed different types of electronic locks with Omnitec during the pandemic.
More sustainable and energy-saving hotels
Sustainability is another of the values championed by the new tourist, who appreciates hotels that take small and large measures to contribute to preserving the planet. Hotel digitalisation includes a range of energy savings systems, from energy-saving switches that work with cards to door and window sensors, which manage the electrical devices in the room, minimising energy consumption.
These devices contribute significantly to reducing energy consumption in hotels and buildings, which not only translates into financial savings, but also in a commitment to the environment.
Useful platforms for the "tech-savvy tourist"
Hotel service reservation apps, reservation apps that reward the loyalty of travellers through points, entertainment platforms for travellers, reservation systems for hotel entertainment activities ...
Guests appreciate being able to have technological facilities to improve their stay, providing they are useful and relevant, of course, as otherwise they would overload the guests; for example, by forcing them to install impractical apps to enjoy hotel services.
Data management to learn from customers
Finally, the digital age opens a huge window to improving customer experience via data analysis. Not only can an improvement survey be sent at the end of the stay, but customers can be studied to establish habitual behaviour patterns and thus improve the services offered to them. For example, by monitoring the most common arrival times to reinforce check-in or studying the services most valued by customers to improve them.