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Few issues frustrate hotel technologists more than interfaces.

The importance of sharing data across multiple systems in hotels grows every year. Yet some of the most common complaints I heard thirty years ago are still around today, maybe just a little less common. We still hear “my vendor doesn’t have the interface I need” or “we bought the interfaces from both vendors to connect their systems, but they just don’t work together the way we expected.” Closely related is “our vendors interface with each other, but one of them wants to charge us $10,000 and we can’t afford that.”

Water has become a major challenge for hotels, both in terms of cost and as one aspect of sustainability programs. Reducing water usage is smart from both a financial and environmental perspective. On the cost side, water accounts for about 10% of hotel utility bills. And while the cost of water varies substantially depending on location, it is increasing faster than inflation. Data on 30 U.S. cities from Circle of Blue showed about a 53% price increase from 2010 to 2019, with many drought-parched locations significantly higher.

The hospitality industry has always faced a unique challenge that most other industries don’t have: Repeat customers are hard to come by. Studies show that around 90% of all hotel guests never return for a second stay. Some of the reasoning for this is understandable — many guests are visiting from far away, and people often like seeing new places when they travel. However, times are changing. In the post-pandemic world, many people are opting to return to familiar places that they trust.

There are three main reasons why hotels solicit feedback from guests. The first is simply to get a “report card” of how your hotel is doing vs. competitors or other hotels in the same brand or management group. This is interesting information and may help make or break someone’s management career, but otherwise is not very actionable. The second is to identify ways to channel capital funds or operating expenses to projects that will have the greatest impact on overall guest satisfaction and, through it, revenue and profit. The last is to get insights into what specific guests liked or disliked about your hotel so that their next-stay experience will be better, increasing their preference for your hotel.

Today’s hotel operators are on the move more than ever and many are challenged with not enough time or staff to manage operations in this new landscape. Hoteliers are telling us they need more mobility for remote staff, on-the-go users, and guest self-serve environments, which is why more properties are taking command of their property using Web browser-based systems. These platforms give operators the freedom to control their properties from anywhere and use a variety of devices, something that has become a necessity due to limitations on available labor and the growing need for operational flexibility.
 



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