5 Hospitality Technology Trends Disrupting The Hospitality Industry Today #Dubai - Dubai City Guide
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5 Hospitality Technology Trends Disrupting The Hospitality Industry Today
(27 February 2023)


Imagine a world where hotels are not on hotel aggregator sites and online travel agencies.

Think of that time when making a confirmed booking meant calling or even visiting the hotel; advanced payment meant going to a telegraph office to transfer money; and deviating from your regular hotel choice was unthinkable because you had no internet to help you research your options.

Thankfully, all this is no more than an academic exercise. Today’s hospitality industry is far removed from what it was, all because of hospitality technology.

Now, hotels are available for booking from many places online, from their websites, social media platforms, online travel agencies, and integrations with travel agencies and other travel service providers.

Even so, they don't have to worry about overbooking or running out of inventory. With the help of a front desk management system, they can have complete visibility over their minute-to-minute availability.

Technology has disrupted restaurants, too. Food delivery platforms have expanded their reach, and they can sell outside their physical locations and maximise their kitchen production.

With the help of restaurant table management software, they can easily visualise their occupancy, forecast table availability and make immediate decisions on no-show guests. All these help restaurants maximise reservations and bookings.

The list goes on. Technology has made significant inroads in the entire hospitality industry, not just the accommodation and food and beverage sectors. The transportation, tourism, events, and recreation sectors have all been changed and have benefited from hospitality technology.

The hospitality industry's reliance on tech will only intensify in the future.

Polaris Market Research says the smart hospitality market, worth $10.71 billion in 2021, will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.79% from 2022 and grow to $ 110.08 billion by 2030.

What Is Hospitality Technology?

Hospitality technology refers to the combination of software, hardware and tech solutions used in the hospitality industry to improve operations, increase efficiency and enhance the guest or customer experience.

In response to rapid technological advancements, hospitality companies have embraced innovative solutions that have revolutionised and continue to reform the way they operate.

The term hospitality technology is broad and encompasses all the tools, equipment, platforms, and processes made possible through technological innovations, from the simplest to the most complex, from rudimentary electronic wallet payment enablement to the more involved hospitality enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

Top Hospitality Technology Trends

There's an abundance of technological developments on the hospitality front, and the following represent just the tip of the iceberg.

1.     Integrated Systems

One of the most significant trends in hospitality technology is integration. Integrated software systems, such as property management systems (PMS), customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and point-of-sale (POS) systems, allow for smooth and continuous communication and data sharing between departments.

This reduces data duplication and potential errors and improves the overall guest and customer experience. All these gains in efficiency and customer experience then translate to a positive impact on the bottom line.

Enterprise resource planning is an example of a complex, integrated software environment that can yield immense efficiency benefits for hospitality companies. ERP links different departments and business processes through functional modules, creating coherent and automated workflows that facilitate the seamless flow of data and information throughout the organisation.

A hotel chain can use ERP to automate sales reporting from its many brands and properties without waiting for these individual entities to send in their reports.

Whenever a property inputs sales data from its terminals, it is uploaded to a centralised database and becomes instantaneously available to the company's leadership and everyone who relies on it to make decisions.

Another scenario involves an ERP linking housekeeping, inventory and procurement. Housekeeping logging the toiletries provided to guests updates inventory records.

2.     Mobile Applications

Another trend in hospitality technology is the growing use of smartphones and mobile applications.

According to Statista, the global smartphone penetration rate in 2021 stood at 67%. There are regional variations to this figure. For instance, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the percentage share of smartphone connections to total connections in 2021 was 75%. Statista estimates this will climb to 84% by 2025.

Guests are increasingly using their smartphones to book rooms, tours, event tickets, and tables at restaurants. They use mobile apps to order food, leave reviews, create content about hospitality establishments, and research information about accommodation, food, and tour providers.

Enterprising hospitality businesses are making full use of mobile technology to streamline their operations and enhance customer experience. Lodging owners can use a mobile hotel management app to manage reservations and monitor occupancy in their property.

Some hotels have also initiated mobile check-ins, enabling hotel guests to check themselves in using the hotel's mobile app and letting them bypass the front desk's check-in queues. The mobile app opens the hotel room and controls the air-conditioner, lights, television, and other smart (internet of things) appliances.

Based on occupancy information, an organisation can offer personalised promotions. For instance, an airline can offer discounted seat upgrades to economy-class passengers who have already boarded or are waiting for departure at the gate.

3.     Cloud Technology

The hotel mobile apps and integrated software systems work well with cloud technology. The cloud provides hospitality companies access to real-time data and analytics, which they can use to make informed decisions and improve their operations.

4.     Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is also increasingly being used in the hospitality industry. AI-language models, trained extensively through machine learning (ML), can power advanced chatbots to provide guests with 24/7 support, answer questions and, using data available in the cloud, personalise every interaction.

5.     Virtual and Augmented Reality

Properties can use virtual reality (VR) to provide virtual tours of hotel rooms and facilities. Meanwhile, augmented reality enables interactive and engaging guest experiences, such as games and quizzes. It can enhance the in-room experience by providing information on-the-fly about the hotel and available amenities.

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