The Big Picture: Hotel Amenities on Screens


How guest use of travel technologies is influencing hospitality trends

There is this sort of race that seems to be happening in the hospitality industry. As hotels continue to focus on luxury and convenience, they are placing their attention on new forms of technology for their guests. Every new renovation mentioned in industry publications seems to be centered around or riddled with interactive touch screens or engaging video boards.

It seems that in the struggle to gain and retain guest loyalty, technology might be the key hotels are hoping will make the difference. With cell phones and laptop applications like Skype, long-distance plans for in-room phones are outdated. And business centers are great for printing, but almost every traveler has their PC in their messenger bag. The demand for traditional technologies is disappearing. So, what technologies are guests really looking for?

In some ways, it seems that guests are looking for unobtrusive technologies like digital reader boards. Digital reader boards are technologies that can be overlooked – in a good way. People don’t say, “Oh hey, check out that sweet reader board.” They just use it –– check their meeting location and time. They know what to do with it. It isn’t a big deal, because they expect it. It’s like saying, “Dude, check out this awesome stop sign.” That’s ridiculous. In much the same way stop signs help the traffic flow, reader boards keep schedules.

So, other than digital reader boards, what kind of technologies are consumers anticipating? Monscierge market research initiatives have found that guests want information and the ability to do things themselves. Self-service options for guests are rising in popularity and use. Many of today’s travelers, especially business travelers, are independent. Self check in for hotel or flight reservations and boarding pass printing are integral parts of new hospitality lobby technologies.

Also, digital concierges. There is a reason touch screen companies are coming out with digital concierge software every time you turn around. Guests want to get local and property information at any time they want and Googling only gets you so far when you are unfamiliar with an area. Digital concierges are the leisure traveler one-stop shop.

Some hotels are spending thousands, even millions of dollars on hotel renovations to install their new digital reader boards or concierge menus, but I’m interested in the personalization technologies. With our daily lives centered around our online profiles, I’m curious to see how staying in a hotel will just be an extension of our home lives. I want to know when I’ll be able to watch movies from my Netflix queue on any guest room television.