Today, with the constant development of modern technology, the smart internet era has penetrated all aspects of various industries. Especially in the hotel industry, traditional hotel management model is no longer suitable for modern hotel management needs. The emergence of smart hotel technology follows the trend of the times. It is a disruptive innovation for the traditional hotel service model. It will be an intelligent management platform that makes hotel services more intelligent and management more efficient, thus improving hotel efficiency and convenience.
Bill Gates predicted in his book “The Road Ahead” published in 1995: In the not-too-distant future, homes without smart home technology systems would become outdated like homes without internet access.
Today, the smart technology era has arrived, and Gates’ prediction is gradually becoming a reality. The same can be said for hotels – in the future, the market will gradually phase out hotels without intelligent features. It’s like how once you’ve gotten used to using a smartphone with a touch screen, would you go back to using a keypad phone?
So what kind of hotel can be considered a smart hotel? Or what kind of smart hotels do you envision in your mind? In my opinion, an intelligent hotel is one that undergoes comprehensive intelligent transformation and upgrade, which is reflected not only in hardware but also in software.
In terms of hardware, intelligent hotels have intelligent lighting, smart curtains, smart air conditioning, intelligent air purifiers, and other hardware devices that can improve the customer experience from different perspectives.
In terms of software, corresponding apps will also be launched to help users manage the above hardware devices, and achieve collaborative work and unified management among different intelligent terminals.
Benefits of Smart Hotel Technology
Enhance Economic Benefits
Traditional hotel check-in methods can result in missed opportunities for bookings and overbooking. Digital platforms offer online booking and mobile payment options, which significantly reduce the occurrence of such problems. This can increase the hotel room occupancy rate and ensure the hotel revenue gains on time, which can enhance economic benefits for the hotel.
Improved Service Quality
Self-service online booking and check-in processes save guests the trouble of waiting in line at the front desk, providing a more convenient and hassle-free check-in experience.
Smart technology features such as facial recognition unlock, and voice-controlled assistants (e.g. Siri/ Alexa/ google home) for room amenities provide guests with a more comfortable and high-tech service experience.
Furthermore, hotels can also leverage big data and Artificial Intelligence to analyze guest preferences and behavior, creating personalized service offerings that improve overall service quality and enhance customer satisfaction.
Smart hotel systems can help hotels to achieve contactless check-in. Users can self-prebooking online, and use a digital key to finish the entire check-in process. This can reduce the need for manual labor, simplify the check-in processes, that can increase efficiency, reduce management costs, and optimize the hotel operation model.
Innovative hotel technology provides new revenue streams and opportunities for hotels. For example, hotels can offer entertainment services through their intelligent service platforms or hotel apps, such as movie recommendations and booking directly, restaurant reservations online, taxi calls, and more.
And they can use smart technology to cross-sell and upsell services, such as guest room upgrades, spas, and more. With these smart hotel app features, hotels can catch more consumers’ eyes and increase hotel revenue.
The demand for personalized and convenient services is growing, and hotels that offer smart hotel solutions are more likely to attract and retain customers. Additionally, smart hotel technology can differentiate a hotel from its competitors, providing guests with unique and innovative hotel experiences.
Cost Savings and Energy Efficiency
Smart hotel systems can help hotels save energy through intelligent room control systems, and AI-powered customer service and hotel robots can improve guest service quality while lowering labor costs. This approach not only benefits the hotel’s bottom line but also contributes to sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.
Smart Hotel Technology Solutions
Smart Access Control System
Unlike the traditional key card entry system, the smart access control system allows users to use their smartphone to unlock without worrying about losing or misplacing their room card.
A smart access control system is a kind of modern security management system, which integrates automatic recognition, modern secure management, internet connectivity, etc. And refer to various technologies such as electronics, mechanics, optics, computer and communication technologies, biotechnology, and more.
Smart Power Supply System
The smart power supply system communicates via the internet. When authorized visitors enter the room, the power supply automatically turns on. When the stay period has expired, the power supply will be automatically cut off.
The intelligent power supply system differs from traditional card-based power supply systems. It is equipped with a high-tech chip that can read the information of the cardholder, thus determining whether the person entering the room is a guest, a hotel manager, or a hotel guest room servicer.
Smart Guest Control System
The hotel’s smart guest control system is one of the most frequently used devices by guests during their stay. It allows guests to customize the room’s operational status and remotely control various smart devices in the room, including lighting, TV, curtains, air conditioning, temperature, humidity, and more.
- When the hotel rooms are in the unoccupied mode, the RCU will be in an unoccupied state, reducing energy consumption.
- After checking in at the front desk, guests can use their mobile devices to enter their rooms and enjoy their stay.
- Guests can use their personal devices to unlock the door. After the smart power switch recognizes the visitor ID, the power of the room will automatically turn on with a welcoming display of lights and the smart speaker will provide corresponding services.
- Guests can also control the lights, TV, curtains, air conditioning, door locks, and other devices through their mobile phones or switch panels. Rooms with voice functionality allow guests to control these devices with voice controls.
- Real-time service information such as “Please Do Not Disturb”, “Please Wait”, “SOS”, “Check Out”, and more is displayed on a monitor outside the door.
- The status of the air conditioning, room temperature, door sensor, window sensor, and hotel safe box can be sent to the system software in real-time.
- Guests can press the “Master Control” button on the bedside to activate sleep mode, and the room status will automatically be set to “Do Not Disturb”.
- In sleep mode, the “night light” will automatically turn on if you press any keystroke, and the system will return to normal mode.
When guests press the “check-out” button on their mobile phones, the information is sent to the system software, which alerts service personnel to check the room. Service staff can then perform the checkout process in advance to avoid long wait times at the front desk.
Smart Interactive System
With the hotel’s intelligent system, hotel guests can link their mobile phones to interact with hotel staff easily. Guests can view instant information provided by the hotel on their mobile phones and make requests for services such as dining, ticket booking, taxi services, check-out, and more. And the hotel staff can view guests’ demands in time and can promptly handle them.
Computer Network System
Since the majority of guests staying in this type of hotel are business travelers, 95 percent of travelers need to use their computers in the guest room. So this kind of room must have a computer network system that allows guests to conduct video conferences, send and receive emails, use office software, access chat apps or book tickets online, and more.
Key Considerations for Implementing Smart Hotel Technology
Implementing intelligent hotel technology can be a complex and costly process that requires careful planning and consideration. To ensure successful implementation and adoption of intelligent hotel technology, hotels should consider the following key factors:
Installing intelligent hotel technology need more operational costs, so they are more expensive, requiring significant investment in hardware, software, and infrastructure. Therefore, hotels should consider their budgetary constraints and ensure that they have allocated sufficient resources for the project.
Security and Privacy
Intelligent hotel technology involves the collection and processing of sensitive guest information, such as personal and financial data. Therefore, hotels should ensure that their systems are secure and comply with relevant data protection laws and regulations.
Compatibility with Existing Systems
Hotel owners should consider the compatibility of their existing systems with smart technology. Integration of intelligent hotel technology with existing systems, such as PMS systems, can be challenging and require significant effort and resources.
Staff Training and Support
To ensure the successful implementation and adoption of intelligent hotel technology, hotels should provide adequate training and support to their staff. Staff training should cover the use of new technology, data management, and guest communication.
Hotels should ensure that they have adequate customer support systems in place to address any issues or concerns related to smart hotel technology. This includes providing guests with clear instructions on how to use the technology and having a dedicated support team to assist guests with any issues that may arise.
Successful Case Studies of Smart Hotels
Marriott International is a global hospitality company with a portfolio of over 30 hotel brands. The company has been a leader in implementing smart hotel technology solutions across its properties. Some of the technologies implemented by Marriott International include mobile check-in, keyless entry, in-room automation, robot luggage concierge and chatbots, and digital signage.
In addition, Marriott International has been experimenting with voice-activated assistants in hotel rooms and voice search and control services in their guest rooms, which can provide guests with conversational help.
Hilton Worldwide has implemented a digital concierge service across its properties worldwide, providing guests with real-time information and personalized recommendations for local attractions and events.
Additionally, Hilton has implemented a mobile phone app that allows guests to book rooms, request services, and control room amenities such as lighting and temperature. The use of smart room technology has helped Hilton Worldwide to improve guest experiences, increase operational efficiency, and reduce costs.
Accor Hotels is a leading hospitality company with a portfolio of over 5,000 hotels in 110 countries. The company has been at the forefront of implementing smart hotel technology solutions across its properties.
Some of the technologies implemented by Accor Hotels include online booking, mobile keyless room entry, and digital room controls that allow guests to adjust the temperature, lighting, and other room features from their mobile devices.
In addition, Accor Hotels has been experimenting with virtual reality and augmented reality to enhance the guest experience.
Iberostar Club Palmeraie
Iberostar Club Palmeraie in Marrakech, Morocco, offers a mobile app called Iberostar App that allows guests to finish their hotel stay online. Specifically, with this app, guests can check in, check out, book services with their digital devices, such as spa treatments and restaurant reservations, and explore the local area.
The app also allows guests to request housekeeping services and view hotel information and offers. In addition, the hotel has implemented key card access to guest rooms and public areas.
TMS Hotel Da Nang Beach
TMS Hotel Da Nang Beach in Da Nang, Vietnam, offers a mobile app called TMS Hotel Da Nang. This app allows guests to easily manage their stay and access various services and amenities provided by the hotel.
For example, contactless services, guest room service, dining reservations, digital key unlock, remote unlock, real-time updates on hotel events, online payment, and more.
With this app, TMS Hotel Da Nang beach can enhance the interactions between customers and the hotel, and create more convenient and personalized experiences for their guests.
(Source: TMS Hotel Da Nang Beach)
Wireless Networking Smart Locks Assist Hotels Smart Upgrade!
Intelligent hotels are not an IQ tax, but rather an inevitable trend in the development of the Hospitality Industry. They are also an effective way for hotels to improve operational efficiency, customer service, and the overall guest experience.
The emergence of wireless networked locks has made hotel management more efficient. The combination of networked smart locks and hotel guest room software systems can display the real-time status of the hotel lock (battery level, signal strength, etc.), unlocking information, and illegal intrusion alarms within the system.
YGS PMS system, with its minimalist design, uses different colors and icons to clearly indicate the status of each hotel room, allowing staff to quickly check the occupancy and reservation status of rooms.
It supports multi-terminal viewing, making it convenient for different positions to respond to various situations. It also supports the use of digital keys, allowing guests to complete check-in online, use their mobile phones to unlock the door, reduce guest waiting time, and achieve contactless check-in.
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