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  • Post last modified:May 24, 2021

In this post, we have covered the top 10 innovation in the hospitality industry ever.

Innovation in the hotel industry is important because it has the capacity to transform the industry positively.

Over the past few years, inventions in the hospitality industry have developed at a fast-moving pace.

Although most service providers and hospitality-related services are doing their best to keep up with these rapid changes, new technology has helped the industry to grow.

Also, look at our article on the Most innovative Hotel Concepts in the world if you want to turn your attention to hotel concept and design.

Here are some of the top 10 innovation in the hospitality industry over the last decade or so:

1. 5 Amazing Technology innovation for 2021

The hospitality industry is transforming rapidly with the advent of technology. 2020 has seen one of the biggest challenges in history in the name of COVID-19 pandemic. Growth of the Hospitality and travel industry has been complete derailed due to this pandemic. Let’s have a look at five technology innovation in hospitality set to transform the industry in the coming years. 

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are speaking about the next generation of the hospitality industry. Technological innovation is set to play the most important role in ensuring the rebound of this industry.

1. AI and Machine Learning Will play a key role

Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine learning are set to take customer service experience to a new level in the hospitality industry in the coming years.

Personalisation to an extent, not possible earlier will become a reality. The hotel industry and other sectors of hospitality would use more of Machine learning and AI to understand and serve customers better.

Some of the examples on how AI is transforming hospitality industry:

  • AI robot adopted by Hilton is known as Connie. Connie is designed to learn and adapt to human beings so the more it interacts with people; the more effective it will be in the future.
  • AI is helping immensely to help hoteliers in managing their brands through reviews, utilising customer feedback for benchmarking, managing social channels in real-time, screening negative reviews and more.
  • Artificial intelligence is a step forward from machine learning in terms of customer support through chatbots.
  • Check-in, check out, customer service experience are all set to improve through the utilisation of AI.

2. AR / VR in Hospitality and Travel

Augmented reality and Virtual Reality are set to enhance the travel experience and hotel stay experience. 

Virtual travel experience is already becoming popular. Devices with augmented reality are also enriching local travel experience.

Hospitality companies are all eager to commoditise these technologies for mass consumption. Customers are expecting greater personalisation in the usage of VR and AR in the hospitality industry.

Hospitality and travel experience, after all, is extremely personal. Virtual reality can certainly be the next big thing in travel as that would change the perception about travel.

Virtual travel might not look appealing but with ever-changing consumer taste and improved technology and internet services, this is set to become mainstream in the coming years.

While we have all gained a glimpse of Virtual reality through 360-degree tours and virtual tours, it’s time for greater personalisation, adaptability and control to the technology. After all, we are discussing next-gen hospitality technology here. 

Traveller, with visual reality’ would be able to experience things that they might not be able to enjoy in reality. Here’s an example of how.

Sitting on the beachside of your resort, you can explore the sea life and sea monsters using virtual reality. Have a look at this video that tries to create a virtual reality experience.

3. Robotics and Automation – Robot Concierge and Automated Car

We have all heard of robots as receptionists in a few hotels and about the ever-popular robot butlers.

Yes, a lot of hotels are already using robots for various services. They are smart, non-intrusive and fun to watch. 

While it’s impossible and not wise to replace human with robots in the industry that’s all about service, these robots definitely help in improving customer services and experience.

Plus, they can work in odd hours and absorb extra workload without a fuss.

Automated car is another innovation that is set to become a reality in the coming years.

Driverless cars would make it a private affair for families who would not like a driver to intrude into their privacy. Driverless cars would be even more useful within huge resorts.

Coming back to robots that use AI. They are set to transform the hospitality industry. Famous Alibaba group have entered the hospitality market with a hotel that uses robots, AI, facial recognition and more. Have a look at this video to explore more.

4. Blockchain is revolutionising hospitality

Blockchain technology is hospitality and travel ensured realtime, encrypted transfer and storage of data. This has opened up an ocean of opportunities for the hospitality industry.

Blockchain is set to revolutionalise customer loyalty programmes, supply chain and data privacy.

Data theft and payment fraud are two of the major challenges this industry is facing currently. Blockchain technology is adding layers of security to ensure more data security and a more secure and robust payment system.

Seamless integration between payment, tax and accounting is another key benefit of this technology.

Regular innovation in this field is only adding to the possibilities it has to improve the travel industry. We are all eager to see more and more of this technology in the coming years.

5. 5G Internet is going to be a blessing for hospitality

We travel for memories. Better experience lead to better memories. So, this should start from the beginning isn’t it?

Customers get into travel mode at the planning stage and remember the experience for a long time. The next-generation hospitality is all set to ensure that the experience is vivid and pleasant right from the start and the stays with customers long after the travel is completed.

The 5th Generation of wireless communication, or 5G as it is commonly known as, is going to be a bliss for hospitality and travel 

Superfast mobile websites, video and images enriched booking experience, apps to control hotel rooms, real-time customer support website and apps, virtual reality and more. 5G opens up a world of technology innovation for commoditisation.

2. Cloud / SaaS (Software as a Service) in Hospitality

SaaS has helped to reduce administratively and IT issues particularly for small hospitality businesses that cannot afford to invest in in-house technical help.

SaaS has definitely transformed the Hospitality industry. Artificial intelligence is coming as an offshoot of this which by many is being considered as innovation as important as the wheel.

Even the budget hospitality establishments can afford fully automated systems to run and manage their organisation.

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3. Improved In-Room Technology And Self Service Tech as an innovation in the Hotel Industry

Nowadays, there is no shortage of in-room technology that can make the guest experience better.

Smart in-room technology is taking the hospitality industry by storm.

These smart in-room tech reshaping hotel industry include mobile keys, nifty devices that allow guests to unlock their room doors using their smartphones; in-room tablets; smart check-in & check-out systems; wireless charging pads; smart drapes & lighting; smart TVs, virtual reality and much more.

From phone activated keys to being able to use your tablet to control the temperature, the future of the hospitality industry looks brighter than ever.

Some Innovative hotel concepts have properly wrapped up in-room technology with imagination to come with lovely examples of how innovation is changing the hospitality industry.

Wearable technology has been making rounds in several high-end hotels across the globe and is by far one of the best inventions in the hotel industry.

Wearable tech such as keycards, both for employees and guests, can collect data such as the most frequented locations by your guest so that service can be tailored.

Another super interesting innovation in the hospitality industry is the use of virtual reality in hotel rooms.

So, instead of a bucket of fries or a sandwich, you can now order a virtual trip through room service. These services are pioneered by Marriott and are in beta phase for a lot of hotel chains. There are a lot of other things in line and the feature would not limit you to just local sightseeing.

Sounds insane, isn’t it? But, that’s what the future holds for us. This is definitely one of the top technology trends in the hotel industry in 2020 and beyond.

Have a look at the below video to check how the Hotel Industry is evolving through innovation with the example of Charlotte Mariott.

Self Service Technology is growing in importance within the hospitality industry.

The hospitality industry has come a long way when it comes to automation of services – and with good reason. Today’s tech-savvy guests prefer tech over human interaction.

That’s why automated check-ins and check-out options are now the norms.

From browser-based applications to mobile apps, service automation is one of the most innovative products in the hotel industry.

4. Easy check-in

Aside from the traditional check-in experience, technology has made it easier for guests to check-in, inquire about their rooms or upgrades as well as obtain RFID keys.

Technology has played a key role and Easy check-in is one of the things which is simple yet one of the most important innovations in the hospitality industry over the past decade.

No more hassles now with Technology backed smooth checking as one of the key trends in the Hospitality Industry.

5. Keyless Entries- Smartphone Operated Room

With free companion apps in the market, it is now possible to control your room remotely through your phone or tablet to turn on the TV, browse and order for food, and so on.

It is one of the best hospitality technology that has already been in operation at a lot of hotels now.

When air travel is already mobile, why should the hotel industry hold back? Smartphones can easily act as a key, remote control and voice command operating device.

Not only does this enhance the user experience but also, drives down the cost for the hotel business in the longer term.

It also helps in getting key information about the customer that can be used for personalized marketing offers and services.

A lot of hotels are now allowing everything to be operated through apps.

Right from check-in- checkout to managing your lighting. Right from cooling/heating to ordering food. It’s all possible through one app now. You would see most of the big hotel chains implementing the app facilities in the near future while it would be a few more years for the rest of the hotel industry to catch up.

The smartphone operated rooms feature is definitely one of the most interesting new technologies in hotel rooms. Think about smart thermostats, wi-fi control and several other facilities that these smartphone apps can achieve for the better guest experience.

6. Be your own concierge (Or let Siri be your Concierge and butler)

Apps available for both Android and iOS can now allow guests to access a range of services including booking appointments for spas, set wake up calls, ordering a taxi, etc.

‘Siri’ is a smart virtual assistant in Apple’s iPhones and will soon be seen in your hotel rooms. Isn’t that interesting? Yes, this is one of the most interesting technologies in hotel rooms of the future.

Is there anything that is beyond expectation? Voice responding hotel rooms is definitely not one of them. Now, Apple’s ‘Siri’ will soon be seen acting as a virtual assistant even in your hotel rooms. Aloft hotels with the help of Apple’s ‘Siri’ has started providing voice responding services to guests as a pilot project.

If your hotel room is too cold or the TV is up too loud, you can just tell your hotel room what you want it to do. So, if you want to increase room temperature or want to order some food and wine, do so just by commanding your room.

With ‘Amazon Echo’ already live in a few hotel rooms, this is going to be another milestone in technological advancements in hospitality.

Are you aware of the Project Jetson with Apple’s ‘Siri’ as the virtual Butler / Virtual Assistant? Aloft Hotels, a Starwood brand, now offers a new voice-activated guest room service that is certainly the wave of the future.

The project is called Project Jetson, and guests will stay in high-tech rooms that, with the help of Apple’s assistant Siri, who will respond to their commands. Project Jetson is currently available at the company’s Boston Seaport and Santa Clara locations.

The system can be accessed via a person’s iPhone or the in-room iPad. Once the device is connected to the room, they can turn on and off the TV by asking Siri. It will also control the air conditioner, GPS, lights, etc. Guests can learn where the closest restaurants and stores are by asking their rooms for advice.

Aloft has plans to bring more features with Project Jetson 2.0 such as room service orders.

7. Innovative Workflow Management tools in the Hospitality Industry

We live in an era of continuous innovation. Thus, we only get excited about hi-tech and transformational innovation.

Technology also has introduced some incremental innovation in the hospitality industry.

Workflow management tools are a great example of such incremental innovation.

Image Courtesy- Forum IT 

Workflow management tools have become important because they help to reduce instances of dropped guests.

Workflow management tools that have the power to communicate across departments can enhance the overall effectiveness.

8. Better ways to compare hotel prices and Location based tech

It is now easier than ever to track down the best deals with the help of Big Data and innovative sites that help consumers make their decisions.

Such sites allow guests to filter hotels by location, price, and proximity to the airport.

Best Travel Websites around the world are making the best out of this concept which has made the travellers the true winners through the innovation tide.

When it comes to top innovation in the hospitality industry, location-based services are making waves with guests.

Although much of this nifty tech is in its infancy, we can expect them to help staff locate guest without much hassle.

This is certainly one of the top innovative products of the hotel industry to keep an eye on.

9. Free Wi-Fi in hotel rooms and SIP-DECT

Now, will the innovation list for the hospitality industry be complete without this one? Old is gold you know. No list of innovation would be complete without fast internet.

The internet has affected every corner of our lives so much so that the guest will not stay at a hotel if they cannot access the wi-fi.

This innovation has now been commoditised and most of the hotel now provides Wi-Fi for free. It’s not even a few years when hotels used to charge a hefty price for Wi-Fi usage.

Image Courtesy- Cisco

What is SIP-DECT?

This is a top innovation in the hospitality industry much like setups found in fixed networks.

SIP-DECT, however, is a mobile-enabling technology that offers hotel works sizzling features without tying them to a fixed location.

Picture something like VoWLAN – SIP-DECT is much more robust and agile.

10. Social Listening and The Sharing Economy

Because of the sharing economy, people are now renting directly from others.

The peer to peer networks has changed the hospitality industry as it has placed more pressure on hotels and guesthouses.

Companies like Airbnb are changing how the hospitality industry used to tackle travellers.

Other travel aggregators are following the model and travellers come out as the victors.

Also, social listening technologies are reshaping hospitality industry like never before.

Since most customers are already on social media platforms, hoteliers can get “an inside scoop.”

This way, they can offer personalised services.

Expect this to become more and more visible in the future.

Conclusion

Here you go, a quick collection of the top innovation in the hospitality industry over the past couple of decades.

Aloft’s Project Jetson isn’t the first Jetson-like foray for the company. There are lots of other hotel industry innovation that you might find extremely interesting.

These hi-tech projects have worked tirelessly to change rented rooms into a dream world for the techies.

For instance, the Cupertino, Calif building has a robot butler as well as mirrors that have a built-in touchscreen display, which is on trial at the Newark, New Jersey Element, a sister brand of Aloft.

There are other interesting projects going around like the automated hotels in Tokyo or Virtual reality by Marriott.

Future of the Hospitality Industry is bright and is being driven by technology and customer focus.

Information Technology in the Hotel Industry is driving the change and Siri in the Hotel room is one of the many projects of artificial intelligence and machine learning within the hospitality industry.

‘Siri’ in itself is an interesting project by Apple which has made a virtual assistant available to one an all. Virtual Butler or Virtual concierge services in Hotels would be a great addition for Siri.

The next version is gearing up for incorporation of ‘artificial intelligence’ which will be more intelligent and adaptive. With the next version of ‘Siri’ by Apple or Alexa by Amazon in your rooms, you never know of the possibilities that lie ahead as far as the innovation in hospitality is concerned.

We have of course missed a few related to enhance service within the hospitality industry but, we promise to keep updating this space with an interesting innovation in the hospitality industry.

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