In case someone has missed this, 2020 is not only the beginning of a new decade, we have also entered a new era: the era of smart hotels, the era of so-called Smart Tourism. In the face of this new era, everyone working in the sector must be aware of the changes and efforts it takes to enter it.
We have to adapt, research, learn and surround ourselves with partners that allow us to reinforce our business in a scenario that differs from that we have seen so far in so many ways. We have to look for formulas and tools to understand and lead the changes, as they entail different means of operating hotels, enhancing user experience and marketing.
Basic keys to smart hotels
To briefly summarise the difference between a smart hotel and a normal hotel, there are two key issues: how they manage resources and what they offer their users. That is, sustainability and experience.
The tourism sector has to prepare itself to respond to problems it will face sooner rather than later: the world population will keep growing and we have increasingly fewer resources. Before we reach a point of stagnation change must be implemented, and we need to move from the current linear economy to a system based on so-called circular economy.
We have to learn to prioritise, to talk more about reusing, recycling, collaborating, reducing unnecessary consumption. We have to realise that this is the time to apply actions that will help ensure the sustainability of the planet and the sector.
Hotels as an experience
This need to make tourism sustainable is precisely what will lead us to transform today’s hotels into smart hotels that are able to understand exactly what each customer really values.
Hotels must adapt their current way of operating and look for ways to reduce consumption of resources, while ensuring maximum comfort for their guests. The only way of meeting this challenge is by studying clients thoroughly, listening to them and getting to know dem. This is how we will be able to offer them the things they really appreciate and avoid wasting resources and making unnecessary efforts.
Customised apps for check-in and check-out, free Wi-Fi connection, customised TV content, customised lighting and home automation in general… Hotels should put all available technology at the service of customer well-being, while striving to go about this in as eco-sustainable a way as possible.
Big Data travel
What do we need to get started? Business travel data tools that we need to be able to listen to our customers are already within our reach, and they are improved and optimised every day. They provide a detailed picture of what travellers are looking for when planning their vacations.
This kind of tools are the so-called big data tools, such as Insights-X from TravelgateX. They let us collect data throughout the entire customer journey, but they also interpret them in a way that tells us what we can do to sell more and better.
Together we are strong
When we talk about applying smart solutions to hotels, getting them to connect with each guest and making them feel unique during their stay, the first thing we need to address is synergies and collaboration within the sector.
Take advantage of connections and contacts we have within easy reach; the knowledge different actors have to effectuate the change we are required to make. Making a change is always easier if you do not have to do it all on your own. TravelgateX has developed a solution specifically designed for just that: Direct-X, created to improve connectivity between hotels and OTAs, increase sales and reduce costs (both in terms of time and money).