Hotel Internet Services (HIS) released a new white paper examining how mainstream technology, such as online streaming and voice-activated assistants, is affecting guest behaviour and hotel stay expectations. Leveraging data from a recent HIS survey conducted with both guests and hoteliers, the research demonstrates why such technology is lessening guest reliance on traditional hotel amenities, such as video-on-demand (VOD) or guestroom telephones.
"Putting the Guest Back into Guestroom Entertainment"
Titled "Putting the Guest Back into Guestroom Entertainment", the newly-released white paper reveals that more than half of today's guests prefer to stream their own content from subscriptions such as Hulu or Netflix, with many hoteliers eliminating their VOD services entirely. The report also found that a majority of guests would seek out a property with a guestroom entertainment platform that allows them to wirelessly cast content from personal devices onto larger guestroom television screens.
A Desire For A Multi-Functional Entertainment Device
The HIS-sponsored white paper documents an extensive amount of guest feedback that demonstrates the desire for an entertainment device that, in addition to casting, also allows access to details on available hotel amenities, along with the ability to connect with hotel departments and make requests for services such as in-room dining. While enhancing room revenue, hoteliers surveyed also indicated an ability for such features to streamline operations and reduce service wait times. Of priority to guests, however, is the need for such platforms to also be equipped with security and privacy features that safeguard personal information, such as usernames, passwords and browsing history.
The Need To Adapt
"Impressive advancements in mainstream entertainment and communications technology have taken place during just the last decade, and as an industry that caters to mainstream consumers, the hospitality market must adapt in order to continue meeting guest expectations and earning their business," says Gary Patrick, CEO of Hotel Internet Services. "Yet while many hoteliers are aware that innovations such as content streaming and voice control are gaining in popularity, a sizeable number are still unaware of how such technology fits into the hospitality space. By analyzing detailed feedback from hotelier peers and guests, our latest white paper not only explains how and why these trends are affecting the industry, but also provides valuable insight into what hotels can actually do to incorporate streaming and voice control in a way that is affordable and that ultimately serves to enhance profitability."
Virtual Assistants And Managing Amenities
Although still a relatively new technology, virtual assistants and the ability to manage amenities using voice control have already gained considerable traction among guests, according to HIS's research. For example, the report notes that 60% of guests would be likely to use such a functionality, if made available. With guests again indicating a desire for a multifunctional solution, various features were ranked highly that should be included as a voice-activated service, including the ability to control in-room amenities, such as televisions, thermostats and lighting. Further strengthening the potential to increase in-room amenities is the fact that many also stressed the convenience-enhancing ability of virtual assistants when requesting additional hotel services.
© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.