The New Type of Hotel Guest

The new era post pandemic has caused a ripple in the digital landscape around the globe. In an (International Data Corporation) IDC research report the new spending on digital transformation worldwide is expected to reach more than $2 trillion by 2022 compared to $1 trillion in 2018.

The result? A “new guest” – which consists of a digitally conscious customer that looks to the digital experience.

This new type of guest is aware and is looking to make the right choice, irrespective of the cost incurred. Hotels today are receiving more inquires and messages with August seeing up to 237 messages in a month per property which is a 40% increase year on year.

Interestingly the total share of messages inquiring about COVID restrictions has dropped by almost 40% since March, showing more awareness of the traveler, and at the same time, displaying their willingness to travel again which definitely provides optimism to the industry.

Staycations make up to 45-50% of the total messages received by every property each month, confirming that staycation is the preferred mode of vacation now.

What do the new guests treasure the most?
The new guest needs the right service and digital experiences to make them feel safe and guide them. It is also vital for brands to build a data security strategy into the customer experience due to the sensitive nature of the customer data. The new guest is aspirational and sensitive to the current situation, equipped with the right information, so brands need to place safety and health at the forefront of the experience and ensure that regulations are maintained to follow the social distancing protocols in physical experiences and that no false information is provided to the customers.

Paving the way for the “New Guest”
The new guest’s digital approach should be to build strategies that allow brands to understand and anticipate the needs of the guest. Brands need to leverage data using competitive intelligence and provide predictive pricing capabilities to understand the needs of the guest and find new ways to full-fill them. An optimized distribution channel and health and security strategy built into the customer experience, brands can create personalized online experiences for the new guest while allowing them to feel safe and guiding them. A customer-centric approach to digital transformation and distribution is what enhances a brand’s visibility and reputation.

5 Helpful Hotel Energy Saving Tips

1. Smart Climate Control
Whether it’s air conditioning or heating, every business has the need for climate control, and often a dedicated HVAC system. Internet of Things and machine learning are helping businesses save significantly on their energy consumption and costs. From smart thermostats that allow users to program their energy consumption around daily occupancy needs to smart sensors that monitor fluctuations in real-time occupancy, there are no shortage of energy-management tools available to help business save on their energy costs.

2. Auto Shutdown Sockets
A major energy cost for many hotels is standby power, it refers to the way electric power is consumed by electronic and electrical appliances while they are switched off (but are designed to draw some power) or in a standby mode. This is where automatic shutdown sockets come in. These are simply smart power outlets that use infrared sensors or timers to cut power to any connected device when the device is not in use or the room is unoccupied. In other words, they allow hotels to save on powering devices whenever they are not in use.

3. Air Source Heat Pumps
Smart thermostats aren’t the only way that business can save on their heating costs. Advances in HVAC hardware technology also offer businesses new opportunities to save on energy costs. Specifically, air source heat pumps make it possible to transfer heat from outside a building to inside it. The science behind Air Source Heat Pumps involves using the principles of vapor compression-refrigeration to absorb heat from one place and release it to another. The advantage for hotels is that ASHPs can be used as energy-efficient space heaters or coolers, removing the need to overload a central HVAC system to accommodate the specific needs of a smaller or compartmental space.

4. Solar Panel Technology
Rising economic superpowers and Australian suburbanites aren’t the only ones benefiting from the rise and proliferation in solar technology. Hotels of all sizes are leveraging increasingly affordable photovoltaic technology to reduce their energy costs. Solar power technology offers businesses a two-fold opportunity: to reduce energy consumption from the grid and sell excess production back into that grid. Therefore, hotels can save on their energy costs and subsidize whatever energy consumption they still have to pay for.

5. Smart Lighting
Smart energy-management systems are not limited only to HVAC systems. Smart lighting technology also enables hotels to better understand their energy needs, automate their consumption and adapt to real-time to changes in occupancy. Some companies have managed to cut energy costs by 75 percent and improved productivity by 20 percent by converting to a smart LED lighting system. Just like EMS helps hotels adjust energy consumption based on real-time climate-control needs, smart lighting systems also enable properties to set preferred lighting times and track activity to improve workflow throughout the facility.

Tech Trends For The Hotel Industry Post Covid-19

Post pandemic the hospitality industry has been slowly recovering. The assistance of technology has helped ease the strain on the industry. Embracing touch-less, is thankfully something that was emerging before the pandemic, however, it has gone from nice-to-do to essential-to-do.

Now with hotels investing in ways to serve the guest mindset, the initial months following the outbreak have provided an opportunity to upgrade systems without disruption. Perhaps installing kiosks for self ordering, QR codes for menus, or near field communication technology for in-room ordering. It’s all about creating a smooth and touches experience for guests.

This pivot by hoteliers, has launched them into the latest technology in this digital era faster than ever. New technologies in housekeeping can create guest trust, which is extremely vital with the new “normal”. Using the latest protocols and cleaners to sanitize rooms, public areas, and high-touch areas is crucial, especially from the guest perspective. In some ways a guest’s smartphone will be the first and possibly only point of contact for most interactions.

Some hotels have already had in place some tech that has shown to be more valuable than when first implemented. Loews Miami Beach Hotel already had some contact-less applications in place, one of which was a live texting service that connected their guests with staff on property for various needs. The texting service also is used to inform guests about upcoming events, promotions and other latest news on the property.

The Hyatt has taken their technology efforts to their fitness studios, by teaming up with local fitness vendors and creating a library of fitness videos exclusively available to their guests. This is a clear example of pivoting and providing what your target demographic is looking for.

Adoption of mobile locks in the hotel marketplace continues to rise unilaterally across all segments, from major brands to the smaller independents. In many cases, the guest can skip the check-in line at the hotel’s front desk and go directly to their room. This tech combines two major needs of guests today, less interaction and faster, convenient experience.

Despite the huge need for it, public networks remain a concern to even the least tech savvy. Simple steps to eliminate exposure of user sign-in credentials include wiping all devices twice to remove any credentials after the guest checks out will protect guests.

Technology will allow safe integration and collaboration across the hospitality space, Smart hosts will balance high tech and high touch. Covid-19 has expedited the digital transformation. This will continue happening and will not go back to normal in a couple of years. People might not want to interact, but we are in the hospitality business. As guests return to hotels and restaurants, the industry will be ready to greet them. Tech will ensure safety without encroaching on someone’s privacy.

Hospitality Marketing Post COVID

In a world where what was once familiar has become foreign, it’s safe to say that hospitality marketing has shifted in a radical direction. Even the most capable minds are left in a tailspin and what we hear a lot is pivot, pivot and well pivot again!

Hospitality Marketing today is faced with the following critical questions:

  • How do we reach our target demographic?
  • How do people feel about the hospitality industry? Hotels specifically?
  • How does our property or services fit into their new world?
  • Is there anything new we should be doing or adding to our services as a result of the “new normal?”

These questions are relevant for the long-run, not just in the here-and-now.

How to survive the unknown
It is important now more than ever to stay true to your original core values and keep an authentic voice while doing so. Let’s say for example your brand’s message changes, your valued clientele may second guess the integrity of your business. Whether you run an independent luxury resort, a convention hotel or even a small boutique property all of these tips can apply.
  • Keep a constant stream of important information throughout your website or any other print or online presence.
  • Provide ample information on all of the safety protocols in place.
  • Be sure to have updated hours of operation of all sections of your property.
  • Detail the type of services that are not available, and if applicable when they will the resume.
  • Explain if any particular facilities on your property are not open, and when is the expected open date, if known.
Send an honest message to guests and prospective guests
As simple as this tip is, it doesn’t make it any less imperative in building and maintaining trust with individuals. Be honest by being upfront about the type of experience your guests will have on your property. Unfortunately, we have all been thrown curve-ball and we are all adapting to the new type of “normal“. Have some faith that your guests will understand the new changes and protocols in place. If you have the experience of an unhappy guest at least they will take away that they were not over promised and under delivered.

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Protect your online reviews presence
Do you currently have a plan in place for online reviews response? Now is the time to create one! A good rule of thumb is to delegate an employee to monitor review sites such as Yelp and Google, on a daily basis if needed. The web is filled with online reviews that companies have not responded to. Make sure your more recent reviews have a thoughtful response by one of your designated employees.
This will do two things:
  1. Happily thank guests who leave positive feedback as well as show appreciation to staff that made this review possible.
  2. Quickly address negative reviews that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. Addressing any concerns as fast as possible may assist in perhaps changing the outcome with good customer service.
These tips will all in all assist with staying connected with your previous and future guests. While this is just a scratch of the surface it’s a great start to revising a marketing strategy that best suits this time in the world to speak to your audience with a clear and concise message.