Travel and tourism now account for more than one-tenth of global GDP and the industry grows exponentially each year. There are a number of trends which contribute to this growth. Stronger economy worldwide, upgraded technology, decreasing costs of travel and stay – and the new consumers from both developing and mature markets who want to leverage the rise in disposable incomes to experience the world. Statista* says the global hotel industry revenue was 495.17 billion US dollars in 2016 and the growth rate for 2018 stands at 3.7%.
Like all other industries, the need of the hour for the hospitality industry is to be progressively tech-savvy, sustainable and to have a certain uniqueness which will set them apart. The hospitality industry typically is seen a provider of luxury and convenience but definitely needs to bring in the wow element.
One of the oldest industries in the market, hospitality requires the ability to maintain old world charm with high tech integration-an interesting conundrum but one that can be achieved if done right. So, what is the must-have? Upgrades in technology that will raise the level of convenience in services! The customer expectation here is high and the industry needs to scale up fast to meet the same. We now clearly live in a world where quality of life has increasingly begun to mean a particular preference to invest in experiences and travel. Again, what to consumers want? They want everything. They want the entire process of travel from booking to stay to local travel to food to unique experiences – all to be available and bookable online. Transparency, optimized experiences, cheaper and competitive prices, a thumbs-up review from previous travellers, unique experiences…the list is long. The expectation is that the industry ecosystem will provide what’s on the list and more.
Let’s take a look at the existing technology and what is possible in the future or travel. From something as basic as free and strong wi-fi to artificial intelligence, the expectation is that technology must enrich the experiences of travellers. Convenience is key to what the consumers expect and therefore keeping up-to-date with the changing trends becomes imperative. Innovation as they say should be part of the package and a key component of the service. Technology like IOT, artificial intelligence, voice technology, automation and block chain are expected to revolutionize all aspects of the hospitality industry – from travel booking, room services, business solutions to day-to-day services and offerings.
The following are the areas where the industry leverages technology to change for the better:
Data Analysis: The industry traditionally, has thrived on manpower to personalise experiences and can now use technology to measure its effectiveness. By adopting the data-driven approach the same personal touch could be offered with far more efficiency.
Mobile Applications: Enough cannot be said about the advent of smartphone technology and its impact on human lives. Without a doubt, today mobile applications drive our day-to-day experiences and decision-making. The hospitality industry has already adopted the same and mobile application development has been the go-to channel for innovation but now early adoption of AI can boost the usage ahead of the curve and revolutionise the industry.
Smart Services: With IOT, smart services have already been deployed by the hospitality industry to enhance customer experience, improve employee productivity, reduce costs et al. The many applications include virtual concierge services, inventory management, hyper-personalization, value-added services by incorporating third-party APIs among others.
The industry now to looks to incorporating end-to-end digital experiences as part of its packages. From super-edgy website to UX-rich applications, technology is what will govern this industry in the coming years. And this is where we have been part of the story.
NetiApps, since its inception has been associated with the hospitality industry, right from building brilliant websites to on-the-edge mobile applications. This industry has made for a major chunk of our clientele and we have helped them leverage technology as the new way forward. Considering that this is an industry that depends on direct interaction with consumers, the scope for learning and improvement through appropriate technology has been endless and we have delivered innovative solutions to the clients to do just that.