Considering the dynamic nature of hospitality, it’s quite normal that it is facing new challenges almost all the time. Still, pandemic-related challenges should be addressed in a different manner, taking into consideration not only keeping up with the existing quality standards, but levelling up the safety measures which should correspond to the strict restrictions and measures which can differ in more than one way. That way, alongside strengthening the measures related to hygiene and safe contact, a great number of hotels has decided to take digitalization tools under serious consideration, and finally, implement them. Everything from smart IPTV solutions which have been the standard in higher category hotels, all the way to mobile and web apps, as well as smart in-room tablet solutions and self-check in solutions. The digitalization has been recognized as a direct way of addressing the current challenges hospitality is facing.
New business challenges – an opportunity for digital transformation of hotels
The beginning of every digitalization project in hospitality will present certain questions to all the participants, ranging from selection of the solution all the way to the implementing it and training the staff for the successful use. Still, implementing a digital solution in the hotel start with choosing between two scenarios. First one would imply creating digital services which are built simultaneously as the hotel is built – from infrastructure to the core team, and all the way to the mission, vision, and hotel brand. This way the digitalization is happening alongside the physical hotel and is built into every aspect of the operation: from guest communication to operations automatization. The other scenario consists of implementing a new digital solution into an existing project: the solution is personalized and adapted to the existing standards, operations, goals, and services in the hotel which is already operational. While the technological side of each digitalization project is conducted in a similar way – choosing the hardware, establishing networks and servers – the very approach to the change and making decisions about digitalization within every single hotel is a unique process which demands personalized approach. It implies the very needs should be approached both pragmatically and creatively, as both help approaching the challenges which are surely to arise during the process.
Considering all mentioned before, each project is still a very induvial matter. Digital services and solutions whose primary purpose is communication, information and guest entertainment is a separate category which should be approached carefully in order to select the best guest-facing hotel solutions that match both hotel needs, and go along with the vision and goals of the brand. Principles that should be followed are uncompromised high-level service, seamless guest communication and personalization of the digital solution.
Digital solutions are here to make sustainability part of the everyday, they should make operational procedures easier, and most importantly: support clear, seamless communication with the guests. Each solution – from smart hotel IPTV solution to mobile and web app, to in-room tablets – is created to provide support and improve high-level of services inside the hotel, as well as close the gap between digital and traditional.