In a bid to keep pace with ever-advancing digital technology, smart hotel and motel managers are working to transform their guest accommodation.
They know that discerning guests have their eye on much more than the traditional offerings of clunky bedside clock radios and landline telephones these days – free Wi-Fi, iPod and mobile phone chargers are just the start of it.
Digital technology expected by today’s traveller
The speed of change in this area has been breathtaking, and it’s understandable if some operators are struggling to keep up.
So let’s unpack the ultimate in digital desirability for the modern guest.
- Internet access. You might feel proud of offering internet for your guests, but traditional wired internet is already old-hat. Wireless internet, or Wi-Fi, is the way to go if you really want to impress your guests and keep them coming back. Wi-Fi allows your guests to email and surf the web in the comfort of couch or bed.
- Online fax. The contemporary hotel room has become a virtual office. And internet fax has become the business traveller’s must-have. Any device with an internet signal – mobile, tablet or laptop – can send and receive faxes this way, direct to email. No machine necessary!
- Upgraded power outlets. With modern travellers usually carrying a number of mobile devices, daily charging is required. Double power points with two USB charging ports satisfy this need, as do mounted points offering power, voice and data connection, along with retractable Ethernet cables.
- Cordless digital phones. The cordless option allows guests the freedom to roam.
- IPod, iPhone and iPad docking solutions. The clock radio doesn’t cut it anymore. Today’s digital combinations are more likely to offer Bluetooth-enabled radio-alarm clock with Lightning dock and USB charge-play for iPod, iPhone and iPad.
- TV and music for the modern age. Today’s guests want to access the in-room TV so they can hook up their laptop or iPad to play their choice of movie. And they want to charge and listen to their own music through their personal devices.
Business travellers demand the best in-room technology
Technology4Hotels, an Australian company providing technology for hoteliers, carried out their own research on business guests who stay regularly in Australian hotels. The results are startling.
- More than 50% of business travellers consider in-room technology when booking a hotel room.
- 7 out of 10 guests are stressed out, annoyed or furious when in-room technology fails them.
- Almost half the guests who experience problems using in-room technology never stay at that establishment again.
On the other hand, hoteliers who meet the technological needs of their guests are rewarded with guests who return again and again.
And while business guests have the most pressing need for top-notch digital provision, all travellers now expect a degree of technology on hand so they can listen to their own music, share messages, post photographs and charge their mobile devices.
Not every establishment will be able to provide the ultimate in convenience. But it’s worth spending time gaining a deeper understanding of the demands of the current travel market to see how you might be able to meet at least some of them.