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If Elon Musk Was A Hotelier
Posted: 09/25/2020

What if a person of Elon Musk’s character and bravado were to enter the hotel industry? How would they shake things up and presage the next ‘game-changers’ to propel hospitality beyond our current challenges?

Things right now are hard to predict. That is a fact. Trends lack patterns. Strategy is a 6-month viewfinder. Leaders are in a tactical storm. We feel overwhelmed by the unknown and the feeling of “what is next.” 

Over the past six months, this column has focused mostly on hospitality technologies and issues that were triggered by COVID-19. Innovation has flourished during that time, from both established industry technology providers and from startups. At last count I had identified nearly 300 startups in the space since the beginning of the year, some of them with very interesting technologies.

As outlined in our previous article, cleanliness is dominating the headlines within the hotel industry, with a number of press releases on new initiatives from all the major chains. The landscape has transformed quickly, to help keep up with the standards this article will summarise the basic principles of cleaning and sanitisation of guest rooms and how that can be achieved quickly, easily and cost-effectively.

Decreasing Stress
Posted: 09/14/2020

Stress does not come without your invitation. It is self-induced by our perspectives of what is occurring in our lives. We all have stress, and the less of it, the more happiness you experience. Life is about living day to day.



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Touchless Hotel Experience: Adapting to the “New Normal” of Guest Expectations

by Frank Pitsikalis



As we examine and develop new strategies for the changes that we can expect to see in the hospitality industry post-crisis, we are also starting to envision the world beyond the pandemic and to the new normal of radically shifted travel consumer expectations and preferences. The probability of guest technology expectations worldwide significantly changing becomes high as guests prefer a more touchless and fully mobile-enabled hospitality experience post-COVID-19. The future of hospitality has always been Mobile–but COVID-19 will accelerate this trend from a nice-to-have to a must-have for hoteliers.

 

Guests will arrive with a new desire for a touchless hotel experience.

Guests will prefer to check-in on their mobile device, receive a digital key on their mobile device and proceed directly to their room. They will want to check-in for their spa treatments or fitness classes on their phone and complete any intake questions on their own device—with brand new questions added now, “would you like your therapist to wear a mask”. They will want to self-serve all of their experiences in the hotel by curating their own wellness itinerary themselves–self-exploring on their own mobile device and booking spa treatments, classes and activities, dining reservations and golf tee times directly. They will use their mobile device as mobile ID to present and access their privileges and facilities as a guest or member. Touchless mobile payments will be the preferred method of payment instead of “chip-and-pin” transactions on perceived “dirty” pin-pads. Guests will avoid the crowds at the bar and order from their pool chair, table or room service via their own device. Check-out will forever change as guests review their room folios on their device, bypass the front desk and settle from mobile.

So, although guests will have a pent-up desire to receive human touch again in the safe, clean and controlled environment of a spa, they will also increasingly desire a “high tech, high touch” aspect to their hospitality experience where they can control it. Hotel marketing may change forever as brands focus on their cleaning processes, sanitized environments and a touchless experience enabled by mobile technology that a guest already has in their own (washed) hands.

As the hospitality industry begins to reopen, enhancing the digital guest experience becomes more significant today as guests seek a more touchless and seamless guest experience using their own (self-cleaned) mobile devices. Here are the top features to consider in delivering a mobile app-enabled touchless hospitality experience for your guests:
 

  • Mobile Check-in (with registration card completion)
  • Mobile Digital Keys
  • Mobile Payments
  • Mobile ID (barcode ID, charge to room/member account)
  • Mobile Spa Check-in (intake forms)
  • Mobile Facility access (NFC/Bluetooth)
  • Mobile Messaging
  • Mobile Guest Requests
  • Mobile Guest Issues (PM)
  • Mobile F&B Ordering
  • Mobile Check-out


Guests will be returning with preferences and expectations we have never seen before; thus, it is imperative that we adapt quickly and ensure that guests and staff feel comfortable in the “new normal”.

About The Author
Frank Pitsikalis
Founder and CEO
ResortSuite Inc.


Frank Pitsikalis is the founder & CEO of ResortSuite – a global hospitality software solution for luxury spas, clubs and resorts.  He is also the Chairman of the ISPA Foundation Board and an established speaker/presenter at numerous prominent industry events within the hospitality, technology, resort, club, golf and spa sectors on how technology can help streamline operations, drive revenue and enhance the guest experience.

 
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