The tourism sector is constantly changing, as it adapts to the desires of travellers, who are increasingly demanding and technically aware.
Here, technology is playing an important role: from booking accommodation and managing check-in, to suggesting entertainment shows and consulting the menu.
In this article we are going to talk about the new trend of digital keys for hotels, which we are sure is here to stay.
Digitalisation has increased even more in the wake of the pandemic and we are now witnessing a trend that goes beyond the widespread use of proximity cards (MiFare systems). Within the electronic locks area, we can go one step further by installing an app on the customer's smartphone for them to access their room and other common areas chosen by the hotel. This is what is meant by digital keys.
How do digital keys work?
Digital keys open doors using Bluetooth technology integrated into smartphones. These types of credentials are becoming more and more common in the hotel sector and in holiday homes.
In the case of hotel rooms, the guest is automatically logged into the mobile application through a link the hotel creates and conveniently emails to the guest. This means customers do not need to have any kind of physical key. In addition, the hotel administrator and staff, with different permissions, can also use the app for access.
Advantages of digital keys: How can they add value to hotels and holiday accommodation?
The integration of technology in hotels and holiday accommodation adds value to the customer experience, which has always been the main concern in the tourism sector. Digital keys have the following benefits:
- Audit Trail: the electronic lock system integrated into the doors keeps a record of all exits, openings and even attempts at opening. All this information can be processed from the reception computer.
- Remote management: remote opening and management with the installation of a Gateway, which turns electronic locks into online devices. This means the systems can be controlled remotely from the administrator’s smartphone. A good example of remote management is that of rural holiday homes or apartments which use a holiday home access control system.
- Different types of permissions: the administrator can grant different types of permissions to users for access to the room. For example, guests are given access for the period of their stay; then, if they finally decide to extend it, a simple change can be made at reception. Access to the room can also be given to employees, such as cleaning staff, for example, during specific, scheduled time slots.
- Easy installation: changing conventional locks for electronic hotel locks
- Security: electronic keys cannot be copied like mechanical keys; entry/exit audits can be carried out; and permissions can be cancelled if a device is lost, for example.
- Contact free: digital keys use Contactless technology. This lack of physical contact is highly appreciated by guests in these times of pandemic.
What other uses do digital keys have?
Within hotels, this same technology can be used in a safe, so that only an authorised guest can open it using the same credentials. Outside hotels, digital keys are used in parcel delivery and collection lockers (a so-called Click & Collect system) as well as in some new vehicle models.
Would you like to find out more about the integration of this system in the tourism sector? We invite you to get in touch with the Omnitec team who can inform you about all the options.