What does the tourism sector hold for us in 2022? In these troubled times, current trends are also bringing great changes. Automation, motorisation and contactless systems are all behind this transition, which can be summed up in one word: technology.
Knowing the trends in tourism is essential. Not surprisingly, this sector represented 10.4% of the world’s GDP before the pandemic (5.5% in 2020) and, in Spain, the figures used to be somewhat higher: with tourism providing 12.4% of GDP in 2019. However, it plummeted to below 5% after COVID.
Can you imagine a room where you search by voice? Ordering a pizza just by telling the digital assistant? Making a video call with Reception? Controlling the air conditioning without leaving your bed? Home automation is a reality right now, and this is reaching hotel services.
Now, the challenge is to adapt to the profile of the connected traveller without being too invasive: at the moment, most travellers are looking for destinations where they can switch off from their daily routine (and also from technology). So you have to follow this trend closely, which will undoubtedly be felt everywhere; however, you can’t go too fast with certain audiences.
The trend for Cloud servers
Businesses in every sector can take advantage of storing all their information in the same place: that is, in the Cloud. The most modern hotel management software tends to use a secure cloud server, which users access through a browser without the need to install additional software on their PC.
An example of this integration towards the cloud is our OS ACCESS Control Software installed in a Cloud server, providing accessibility, security and efficiency in the management of access to accommodation centres. In fact, it is Omnitec’s most innovative access control software.
This program adapts to the most demanding technical requirements of hotels and can optimise the management of access credentials and security for proximity cards, numerical codes and Bluetooth.
In 2022, the trend towards automating processes in hotels will be even more pronounced. One of the most demanding jobs for Reception is the check-in, since they sometimes find themselves with large groups or lots of guests arriving at peak hours. At this time, a speedy check-in is highly valued by guests, who are often tired after their trip.
In the light of the pandemic, the installation of online check-in systems has increased and, one step further, customers can now bypass this and go directly to their rooms. Solutions such as Rent & Pass, which were already proving successful in tourist accommodation, are emerging as an alternative to conventional registration.
Once a reservation is confirmed, hotels send customers an electronic key (opening with Bluetooth or Access Code) valid only for the reservation contracted; thus giving them access to their assigned room without having to check in at Reception when they arrive.
Virtual reality (VR) for choosing and booking accommodation
Trips are made to be enjoyed: we experience them beforehand, as we prepare for them; during, them when we are on holiday; and later, by looking at photos and sharing experiences. The VR trend focuses on the first part: to "sell" experiences. In other words, VR is not just an experience in itself, but helps to show what the tourist will find at their destination. This technology is already being implemented to show the amenities of some hotels, such as the Shangri-La hotel chain.
Millennials and Generation Z relate to destinations and technology differently to other generations. They appreciate customised experiences provided by technology and, paradoxically, automatically. Some good practices to satisfy this type of young customer are sending them personal communications and recommending places according to their preferences. They are then liable to share their good experiences on social networks.
Customisation in all experiences is a universal trend that is here to stay.