Picture this: it’s midnight and you’re about to enter a hotel. You’ve just finished a turbulent cross-country flight, after being delayed at the airport for hours. You got off the plane to discover your baggage had been lost. Getting a cab from the airport was a nightmare and you scuffed your favorite pair of shoes sprinting over curbs. How refreshing would it feel to walk through the front doors, tap a few options on a touch screen check-in kiosk, and make your way up to your room in utter peace and quiet?
Sometimes, technology solutions like these make life a whole lot better. The hotel industry is embracing new trends in technology and there are a few areas in particular where I see real potential:
Automated Check In
Self-service check-in kiosks are becoming more mainstream in the hospitality industry. CitizenM, a chain of boutique hotels in Europe, uses kiosks as virtual receptionists to check in guests and administer room keys. If guests run into any problems during the process, a staff member in the lobby can assist them, as well as offer additional services like recommending hotel dining options.
The hotel industry runs 24 hours a day. Interactive ticketing kiosks can help take on some of that workload by helping guests book trips or outings. The Stratosphere Casino in Las Vegas also needs to be “on” 24 hours a day (that’s Vegas for you!) so they installed Livewire self-service ticketing kiosks for customers to purchase their tickets at any time. The machines notify staff if there are any problems or if the cash needs restocking or emptying, so employees can focus on other duties.
Many hotel lobbies are a sea of brochures, flyers, and coupon books for local activities and restaurants. A firm from Amelia Island came to Livewire looking a lot like a cluttered hotel lobby, wanting a better way to communicate with tourists. Amelia Island incorporated interactive touch screen tablets and Livewire’s eConcierge® Content Management System to meet that need. The tablets now share all the relevant information without the paper clutter. The system also utilizes omni-channel networks and incorporates QR codes into its listings, so guests can scan to find more information on their smartphones if they want to.
What other ways can hotels use technology to simplify the process? What cool examples have you found in your travels?