Contactless hotels or contactless hospitality would be the new norm in the market, driven by automation and machine learning innovation today.
In 2019, the coronavirus outbreak put an end to the glory growth of travel and hospitality, sending this industry into trouble and uncertainty. The influence of public policy regarding temporary social distancing forced hotel businesses to speed up their plan of executing contactless guest experiences to protect their properties.
Contactless Hotel amid the pandemic outbreak
From the hotel owners’ perspective, the pandemic outbreak was an absolute disaster, forcing them to shut down in most hospitality locations. In fact, experts believed that to fill back hotel rooms again, adopting fully contactless properties is indispensable even when in the post-pandemic.
The raising of contactless hospitality
The business operates in the travel and hospitality industry across the globe has been driven by technology innovation. In fact, travelers in both current times and the past seem to be tech-Savvy. In improving quality levels of services, hospitality has to keep up with the trend in the technology development sector.
Related article: Technology in tourism
Indeed, before the COVID19 outbreak, the front office of hotels has started to apply the touchless and customized platform to reduce human tasks. Currently, that feature is used to deter cross-infection in an effort of protecting visitor’s health. Despite the absence of practices, the concept of contactless took the central position in the picture of hospitality development.
According to a survey done by Medallia Zingle, roundly 75% of visitors would not report their problem since they were afraid of face-to-face communication. Instead, over 42% of hotel visitors considered returning to a hotel if their previously unsatisfied experience improved. So how do hotel managers collect feedback to handle unexpected incurrences inside the hotel? Currently, they leverage software development solutions related to the real-time contactless communication system to detect and dress customer issues.
The main driving factors driving that trend came from 3 points:
- Infection Diseases sensitive: Obviously, the crowd attribute of tourism and hospitality locations create an extremely favorable environment to spreading diseases. Imagine that when an infected person visited a beach, he would be rapidly spreading viruses to other visitors nearby. Those visitors would carry virus backing to their home. Undoubtedly, in cases of COVID19, tourism is blamed as a partner in crimes of causing a global outbreak.
- Risk deduction: Contactless hotels, contactless hospitality, and other contactless services are believed to execute social distancing despite shutting down businesses. These protocols can convince regulation sectors of “safe tourism”, suggesting themselves untired the strict travel policy this year.
- Enhancing customer experience: As mention above, Tech-Savy travelers appreciate experiencing new technology within their journey. Innovative hotel services promise to attract visitors back to the travel industry after the longtime of social distancing.
Common standards in delivering contactless hotel experiences
Contactless hotel experience with digital concierge
In the prediction of front hotel services innovation, AI concierge for hotel contactless reception would be the new norm for the hotel business sector. With assistance from Agile software development and IoT revolution, digital transformation in the hospitality industry would be accelerated. In expectation, the market value for IoT in hotels would reach over US$ million by 2019. Starting with digital concierge, future hotels would offer fully digital services.
Related article: Digital transformation in travel and tourism industry
These days, hospitality software solutions have an incentive to focus on cloud computing technology empowering management system, providing instant assistance to hotel visitor customizing even when they not arriving.
Explore why the digital concierge is standardized currently:
|Reduce human tasks||Replacing manual task by machines to boost productivities|
|Real-time assistance and update||Leveraging mobile app and web application to processing information without physical contribution.|
|Automatically update room status||Without human coordination, the system automatic assign tasks for staff due to current room status|
|Real-time update in booking and upselling service||Integrating with the cross-selling channel as a travel portal or booking agent into the hotel system|
|Customize room automatically||Adjusting room preference by data collection|
Contactless elevator experience with AI devices
Instead of having a front desk staff running an elevator traditionally, hotels currently use mobile apps to control elevators on-demand. In which it provides zero physical contact to protect both visitors and staff. Many experts believed that contactless elevators would become mainstream in 2021 and beyond. It was coming from the consideration of infection capacity when using elevators. Within a strict space, the virus spreading could become more active. Accordingly, AI-based elevators are indispensable in the hotel business in tackling the adverse impact of healthcare-concern.
On the other hand, touchless calls and touchless buttons also come together with a contactless elevator. Leveraging sensor technology and face detection, full-contactless transportation within hotels would be applied some days.
Contactless hotel experience in the context of software development
Many surveys prove that Contactless Hotel and contactless hospitality adding unique and more satisfying experiences to visitors. However, the technology gap across countries currently slow down those executions of contactless service hotel in the real world. Keeping up with software development sectors is the only way to implement a contactless hotel experience faster. On top of these, there are four aspects currently influenced by contactless guest experience in hotel and hospitality services.
1. Contactless payment in the hospitality industry
When it comes to contactless payment in the hotel, a cloud-based property management system (PMS) supports several payment methods, within hotel services. It adds more simplicity, distance, and flexibility to payment activities.
PMS platform featuring contactless payment allows customers to use multiple payment methods simultaneously, including making payments via their smartphones, or charge by chipped cards. Moreover, a cloud-based system is indispensable for the hotel chain in which it enables real-time synchronizing payment from several properties into a single system cohesively.
2. Contactless room service
Traditional room key becomes more outdate that sensor eyes and some other authentication technology can help with. Supported by guest devices and mobile app for hotel guests, the concept of keyless room entry would turn to be mainstream, especially for high-end hotel services. In fact, using fingerprint or face detection to opening room doors seemingly not a stranger thing in hotel room services from 2020.
Related article: 5 reasons why travel and hospitality company need mobile app
Hotel owners could handily control the customer insides their properties by monitoring the hotel system. Besides, executing grant access to visitors could deter the possibility of any potential security issues. In terms of guest experiences, using digital keys could prevent the risk of the key lost or stolen. Also, it comes up with more convenience in hotel guest experiences.
However, adopting contactless room services requires immense effort and investment in assistant technology. Deploying the whole system to cloud computing refers to be one of those, which allows centralizing control and access management. Besides, hotels do need a hospitality guest mobile app being used when guests calling for room services.
Generally, highlight some software solutions should be adopted when executing contactless room services:
- The instant messaging platform for guests and staffs
- Personal virtual assistants
- IoT networks for device connect
- Mobile app for guest
- Central management system for processing requests
3. Hotel contactless check-in/check-out
Conventional hotel check-in requires the participation of reception and guest ID checks that came up with several inconveniences such as the delay in processing guest luggage, slow check-in, or wrong information. Indeed, those issues would result in a negative guest experience for hotel visitors. Alternatively, Contactless check-in has proved its efficiency in offering high-quality services, following health and safety regulations.
Currently, contactless check-in could be applied in three ways:
- Pre-check in with web or mobile application: this method is commonly applied in the airline industry while enables customers to fill their check-in form before coming to the airport. Similarly, hotels also allow upload and cross-check guests ID via mobile app solution.
- Self-services check-in within the hotel properties: this type of contactless check-in required collaboration with PMS to process after-check-in tasks, including room-key handling, system registration for new access, and also automated luggage carrying.
- Contactless payment for processing deposits and calculating invoices automatically.
In conclusion: contactless hotels and hospitality would soon become standard in the travel and hospitality industry. In this time, hotel business would prepare their own digital adoption strategies, focusing on contactless technology to not lagging behind in the market.
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