The pandemic has changed many things. In what seems to be an unpredictable sea of challenges, however, also new opportunities have surfaced like bright buoys. In the hotel industry, for example, digital tools and platforms now occupy a much more important place, enabling safe communication with the team and guests and making it easier to map processes digitally and transparently.
SHR and Hotel Recovery collaborated on a survey for hoteliers to find out how hoteliers are responding to the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis and what their strategies are for the time after the crisis. The questionnaire focused on future challenges as well as opportunities and what will be important to hoteliers in 2021. The responses of the 354 hoteliers clearly show that technology has played a key role during the crisis and will be even more important in the future.
How hotels will use technology in 2021
Which types of technology?
Many hoteliers already used digital tools during the pandemic to implement the new safety and hygiene regulations in the best way possible. As the industry grappled with ever-changing regulations, this served to reduce contact points and helped to quickly adapt cleaning processes and standards. The question about which technologies might be implemented in the coming year showed that most of the respondents plan to simplify and digitize processes related to the guest. 23% of respondents said they would focus on implementing contactless check-in solutions and/or digital keys in the next year. And 19% plan to implement digital guest messaging tools. All this to slightly reduce direct contact with the guest and to communicate with each other securely by digital means. Another 10% also plan to implement tools to automate daily hotel operations.
Technology for operational efficiency
At the moment, hotel teams often have to face the aforementioned challenges with the help of fewer employees yet higher demands. Team communication is more difficult during a pandemic. Most colleagues will be working from home or have heavily reduced or restricted work hours. Processes in the hotel have to be restructured and adapted. The survey clearly shows: hoteliers know that these challenges can be overcome by automating and simplifying daily workflows. Digitization of operational processes in hotels is a top priority now. Tools and platforms that enable hotel teams to increase efficiency in their operations are more important than ever before.
27% of the respondents said they plan to automate daily processes to compensate for the lack of resources and reduce the workload of smaller teams. One in six hoteliers claims they plan to implement new workflow management tools in the coming year. A further 11% said they would like to move their current systems to the cloud in the future. This would enable hotel employees to access relevant information regardless of location, and communication within the team and the handling of certain processes would be much easier and faster.
2021 is calling!
All fingers and toes crossed, the new year will make up for the – pardon our French – shit show that was 2020. The mission is clear. Evaluate. Simplify. Get it done. Think about the most important insights and “aha moments” of these difficult times for you personally and for your team. Figure out which steps you want to take. Simplifying daily hotel operations, improving communication, and increasing efficiency is definitely a good start. And hotelkit is your right-hand software for just that. We are THE platform where hotel teams get their work done!
Source: Hotel Recovery, SHR – Hospitality 2021 – State of Recovery