The future of hotel technology is bright. Over the years, countless technological advancements have refined into stable features that save the hospitality industry revenue and delight guests. PMS software is more feature rich than ever, allowing staff to put their focus back on the guest experience.
The simplicity of hotel technology has also improved, allowing young and old alike to embrace hotel robots and ticketless luggage services with open arms. The digital divide between home life and hotels is shrinking, thanks to a robust toolbox of hospitality software companies and affordable hardware designers.
Let's dive into three popular hotel tech areas that are growing.
1. Hotel robots
Hotel robots. Just say it out loud. “Hotel robots.” We have hotel robots!
Hospitality robotics technology is nowhere near as cool as what Boston Dynamics has been designing, but it has steadily declined in price, allowing them to be more and more common in hotels. While they can’t yet do backflips in the hallway after delivering dinner to your room, they can help hotels reduce costs, improve operations, and enhance the guest experience.
In 2014, Aloft introduced its robot butler service called Botlr, which can deliver items like towels, toiletries, and other amenities to guests' rooms. The trashcan-sized bots also allow guests to request housekeeping services and recycle unwanted items. The results of these automated property management systems have been positive, with guests reporting shorter wait times and improved efficiency in housekeeping operations.
In the last few years, Aloft launched a new robot called ALO butler, which provides 24-hour room service, including towels, toiletries, and complimentary snacks. The 100-pound electronic butler has led to a significant reduction in labor costs and improved guest satisfaction scores. The success of Aloft's robot butler service has been so noticeable within the hotel industry that it has sparked many competitors.
Relay Robotics is one hotel robot with over one million units worldwide. KEENON Robotics is another popular option, helping people in over 60 countries. Pudu Robotics offers hospitality robots that are smart moving shelves; I’ve personally experienced one of these fellas at a conveyor sushi bar. RichTech Robots has developed the bartender of the future, and Bear Robotics is making a splash at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott.
This healthy dose of competition in the hotel robotics market will only grow, and the expansion of services these charming machines offer will make them irresistible.
2. Hotel guests love their digital wallets
Mobile wallet payments were the most popular payment method globally in 2020. While the pandemic did accelerate this trend, there’s no looking back now.
Consumer use of Apple’s e-wallet, Apple Pay, has almost doubled over the last two years. Apple's digital wallet revenue soared from $400,000,000 in 2020 to $780,000,000 in 2022. What once seemed like a silly feature in the fall of 2015 when Apple debuted Apple Pay is now a way of life for most travelers. It’s more secure than physical credit cards since the user's card number and identity are not shared during the transaction. If the phone is stolen, Face ID locks out unwanted attempts. What’s not to love?
Hotel guests have enjoyed booking rooms with their digital wallets for years. Selfbook says 47.4% of guests used Apple Pay or Google Pay to book rooms at The Standard, London. Yet 23% of hotels still need to offer digital wallet options for guests who wish to book.
Selfbook also notes that 80% of all hotel rooms are booked on mobile devices and that a digital wallet is 30% more likely to be used on a same-day reservation than a credit card.
3. NFC chips allow hotels to wave their worries away
Where are NFC chips used in hotels? Everywhere.
NFC technology (Near Field Communication) has the magic element that guests love. Put an NFC-embedded chip in a plastic key card or wristband; the world is your oyster. From unlocking rooms with a tap to granting guests access to WiFi, NFC chips are a great way to boost hotel ratings.
One of the intuitive ways hotels and resorts use NFC technology is through a New York-based company called, Chexology.
Chexology’s simplicity makes their paperless luggage check, package check, coat check, and valet system very popular with resorts and boutique hotels! It plays nice with existing software like ALICE by Actble and even costs less than existing paper tickets used at bell desks. You can learn more about how Chexology works in hotels by clicking here.
"The biggest reason we switched was for the environmental impact," said Luis Casado, director of rooms at SLS Brickell Miami. "Another reason was the overall ease of it, and you don't have to write everything out multiple times. We actually clocked it at a quarter of the time it took us to tag the same amount of bags with our old paper tickets. Plus, paying over 30 cents for each of those paper tickets just didn't make sense, so the savings in comparison made the decision that much simpler.”
With Chexology, the guest is their claim ticket. Gone are the days of holding onto a little piece of paper to claim valuable luggage, cars, and coats. Provide a modern experience that costs less than paper, is sustainable and faster, and builds trust with your guests.
Don’t get left behind!
Technology has become an essential part of the modern hotel industry, providing a range of benefits for both guests and hotel operators. From digital concierge services to advanced property management systems, hotels embracing technology are better equipped to provide exceptional guest experiences, streamline operations, and stay ahead of the competition, for hotels looking to keep on top of the latest technological trends, solutions such as ticketless luggage service can be a valuable tool to help them achieve their goals. By leveraging the latest technology, hotels can ensure that they are well-positioned to succeed in the years to come.