When it comes to technology adoption, the hospitality sector in India does not immediately come to the mind. In fact, it comes more or less as an afterthought once you have counted the top segments such as banking, telecom, IT/ITES and others. And yet, at about 8-9% of India’s annual GDP, hospitality is quite significant.
For all the charming campaigns of Incredible India and tons of advertising by tourist-friendly states, however, hotels and restaurants in the country can barely be termed state-of-the-art. Why, in how many of them can you find end-to-end integrated systems, tablet-wielding staff or other signs of tech savvy?
Why has this sector lagged behind when it comes to embracing IT? The answer to this question lies in the evolution and growth of the segment. Most of India’s top hotels have for long focused on aspects of operations that may be high on hospitality but rather low on technology. Things such as cuisine,physical ambience and value-added tour packages have dominated their agenda of luring the foreigner on a mission to explore the old-world enchantments and mysteries of the Indian subcontinent. But facilities such as Wi-Fi and latest gadgets or customized experiences through advanced CRM systems or data analytics have not been accorded priority.
About a year ago, a foreign tourist who arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport in NewDelhi lost his baggage owing to his airline’s negligence. Despite his best efforts, the gentleman could not locate his stuff, and reached The Oberoi, the hotel he was booked into.
As soon as the tourist reached the hotel, he tweeted that he lost his baggage at the airport and was now staying at The Oberoi. The central agency that was tracking Oberoi’s social media activities noticed it and informed the hotel’s duty manger at the airport. The duty manager traced and collected the baggage from the airline and delivered it to the guest at the hotel — to his pleasant astonishment.
“This not only increased the loyalty of the customer, but also gave us satisfaction as a hospitality player. We many a time experience a whole lot of business benefits with new technologies such as social media Like The Oberoi, many hotels in India in recent years are adopting a whole lot of modern technologies to streamline their day-to-day operations, better servicing theircustomers and to make more revenues. In fact, advanced technology has become a boon to the hospitality sector in today’s difficult economic situation.
Consumers seek live, bespoke social interactions that connect them with the essence of a place: Experiential travellers venture beyond the beaten tourist paths and dive deeper into authentic, local culture.
From computerized check-in, automatic wake-up calls, electronic locks to closed circuit TV, fire and security protection systems to teleconferencing, nothing is better organized than the modern-day hotels and resorts. One often wonders at the miracle that the present day hotels offer to its clients . The modern hotels have integrated system that tie operational requirements including a reservation system which checks the availability of room of individuals and groups, assign room types, tracks deposits, and print managerial reports.
Technology is a driving force of change that presents opportunities for greater efficiencies and integration for improved guest services.
Technology has become a tourism business activity in development of strategic resources and is considered as a tool to increase competitiveness. Effective use of information technology can make significant operational improvements. Advanced software and communication tools allow enlarging operational efficiency, for example, orders may be made better, faster and cheaper. In addition, decision-making through decision support tools, databases and modelling tools assist the manager’s job.
Technology on wireless communication systems enabling voice, text and data communication among employees, managers, departments and guests is now being adapted by hotels. Comprised of intelligent system software and lightweight, hands-free or handheld communication devices, these systems allow hotel staff to deliver the best customer service. Examples of wireless communication solutions for the hospitality industry include: communication badges, food and drinks ordering systems, as well as devices that allow hotel agents to check-in and check-out guests, process credit cards, print receipts and program room keys anywhere in or nearby the hotel. Wireless technology offers, among others, the following benefits for hotels and the quality of service they can provide to the guest
- Guests Prefer Automated Services
- It’s all about personalisation
- 92% of hoteliers believe that by 2020 guests will expect their stay to be personalized around a set of choices they make before they arrive.
- Customers want speed, consistency and convenience, as well as personalisation.
- the customer experience of the future will be driven by technology
- the most successful hotels will have technology driven solutions at their core.
- failure to address customers’ technology needs would result in competitive disadvantage.
- technology as a means to fundamentally change how guests engage with services from booking to checkout and beyond, at a strategic level.
- With the latest solutions, you can send individually targeted offers to each customer’s smartphone, enable them to skip the queue at reception, pre-set the TV to their favourite channel, and much more.
- providing guests with innovative, high-quality and interactive solutions will enhance loyalty and increaseroom occupancy levels.
Hospitality professionals are constantly told that they need to keep up with emerging technologies. However, many of the opportunities for learning at conferences revolve around really basic information that many of us already know – social media is important, tablets are nifty, and apps are a cool way to engage with attendees.
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