Evolving technology is playing an increasingly important role in the identity of many brands and the positioning of new-build or renovated hotels. Hoteliers are striving to create unique experiences for their guests and to keep up with the trend toward boutique and lifestyle brands.
The role of guest-facing technology is proliferating at a rapid pace. Many brands now allow guests to use their mobile devices to select a room, check in, receive notices when their room is ready and even unlock the door to their room or access reserved parts of the hotel. Some hotels have implemented ways in which the concierge or front desk staff at the hotel can communicate directly with each guest. Hotels are even furthering their customer loyalty programs by providing upgrades and incentives for social media use and postings. Marriott and Hyatt are now offering in-room streaming at many locations, which allows guests to use Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, Hulu and other services on their in-room TV. This is just the beginning. Robots are being developed to deliver extra towels, toiletries or even room service directly to the guest. Other robots are being used as additional concierges, to guide guests around the hotel and to promote on–property amenities. Who knows what technology will be next? This article explores the impact of the implementation of technology into hotels and what hotel owners can negotiate into their management and franchise agreement to protect themselves.
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