Hotels that don’t adopt Smart Technology risk being left behind
Whether it’s travelling for business or enjoying a stay for leisure, the guest experience within a hotel has never been more important. Guests are savvier than ever before and with the purchase of a room, at a time where costs are on the rise, comes the expectation of a seamless experience, catering to every need they may have.
But it’s not just about changing customer demands. Hotels across the world are still trying to regenerate money lost amid the pandemic while facing the uphill battle of increasing costs across the supply chain, with energy usage, in particular hiking up hefty bills, alongside increased staff costs. And then there is the challenge of becoming more sustainable and driving forward in the race to become net zero.
It's clear that hotels are entering a period of significant change, if they are to survive the challenges they are currently faced with, and many have already started to develop their existing operations to ensure they are ready for the future.
The term ‘smart hotel’, one that makes use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology to connect the building and its devices using data, is not a new one within the sector – far from it. In fact, a PwC report from before the pandemic, at the end of 2019, stated that 70% of hospitality executives reported that they already had active IoT projects on the go. However, some hotels have been slower on the uptake.
In recent years, we have found that more and more of our hotel customers are increasing their focus on the adoption of smart technology and expanding what the scope looks like. Many are installing additional Wi-Fi access points within their hotels, using the best technology available to create a platform which can deliver IoT-driven operational technologies, allowing the automation of manual processes so hotels can operate more efficiently.
High-speed Wi-Fi is an extremely important factor for any hotel with guests, travelling for both business and leisure, relying increasingly on remaining connected from anywhere in the world – especially after the pandemic.
In Cardiff, we’ve been working with The Celtic Collection on developments across its portfolio for the provision of Wi-Fi 6 technology. Propelling two of Cardiff’s oldest buildings into the 21st-century, the five-star Parkgate Hotel is utilising best in class enterprise-grade networking and Wi-Fi throughout the hotel to futureproof the venue and enable digital services going forward, improving the experience for guests with consistently excellent connectivity in all public spaces and hotel rooms.
Likewise, the Port of Milford Haven’s Ty Milford Waterfront Hotel will see a Wi-Fi 6 platform integrated within the new hotel, driving operational efficiencies as well as underpinning the guest experience.
Hotels are in a challenging period – there is no doubt about it. During this time, hotels that do not take proactive steps to evolve risk being left behind. It’s not just about the experience of guests when it comes to technology, there are significant operational savings to be made through more efficient models that are based on informed thinking through real-time data.
Think air quality and waste management, remotely managed security, water leak detection and predictive maintenance – all enabled through the adoption of technology. Data tracking footfall may also be used to review busy and quiet periods, with initiatives introduced in light of those learnings.
Technology has become a massive part of our lives – even more so following the pandemic. No longer can businesses steer clear of adopting solutions and digital innovation is paramount to the future of hotels. The hospitality sector has a lot to benefit from here and without the data that brings that informed decision making, the challenges faced will be much harder to overcome.
Afterall, it’s much harder to fix a problem if you don’t truly understand it.
12 September 2022