For our #TeamOn (Extra) September series, we spoke to Karen Sin from Lead’s 8 Global Marketing & Communications about Technology’s Impact on Hospitality.
Technology has re-shaped the everyday lives of our society. From the workplace to education and the way we interact with each other and arrange our social life, technology has dramatically changed the traditional pattern of living.
Smartphones and mobile devices have become intrinsic to us and our lives. Technology has generated an explicit shift in the way we travel, work and live.
The digital world has become the prime channel to retrieve all sorts of information, in fact, it is a virtual encyclopedia, library, even concierge. When planning a trip, this is the first source most people will turn to; from seeking desirable destinations, to booking flights, hotels, and more. Not only is it time and cost effective; it can also be done anywhere, anytime. And, having more time is valuable to everyone today.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, are filled with latest news, promotional deals and content, 24/7. With the vast number of people – especially the younger generation, “glued” to their smartphones and laptops, news from social media channels can easily go viral and can offer a great deal of information.
An extra “like” of a hotel package deal on Facebook, an attractive image of a beach on Instagram or a positive review of a limousine company can all have a direct impact on our decisions. The traditional marketing brochures and pamphlets are no longer the key drives of business; indeed, it is social media that plays the vital role in developing business recognition, in a new kind of “word of mouth.”
Technology has indeed created an easier life for us when it comes to planning a trip. However, it has diminished human interactions and made some jobs redundant in the travel industry. Instant messenger and automated systems have replaced direct telephone conversations, computerized self-service check-in machines are replacing the need for many airline ground staff. Phone apps have replaced travel guides, maps, cameras, recommendations and reviews, even hailing your own taxi.
In the hotel industry, technical trends and digital capabilities take center stage. The use of technology is a great tool to speed hotel operations and cannot be ignored by hoteliers that want to remain competitive in the market. Even robots are beginning to appear in hotels to replace the duties of room service attendants! For example, bell hop robots help customers at Cupertino in California.
Technology has changed the way we will travel, but there will always be a place for people in the hospitality industry – after all, its customer experience that sets brands and businesses apart.
Digital capabilities and advances are absolutely intriguing. Technology has become fundamental to everyone’s lives, and it’s clear that it’s here to stay; with no exceptions for the hospitality industry.