Australia’s hotel and tourism industries were hit hard over the past few years but still remain key pillars in reviving the country’s post-pandemic recovery in the new normal.
These sectors suffered a loss of around $1.3 trillion AUD in total, according to The World Travel and Tourism Council and The World Bank. In efforts to quickly recover, hotels in particular increased their dependence on social media engagement, focused on improving process efficiencies through means such as contactless customer service points, and unlocking new networking capabilities.
As a result, the market size of Australia’s hotel and resort industry alone now stands at $1.1 billion AUD. With more tourist attractions opening nearly every day across the country, this is expected to have risen by 6.2% at the end of this month – so how can Australia’s network capabilities amplify this growth potential, which will have far-reaching impacts on the national economy?
One of the biggest steps taken by the hotels in the last two years was to provide a contactless experience to guests. This change has helped otherwise time-consuming processes such as check-in and check-out become more time efficient. Guests, in turn, enjoyed an improved experience which inevitably led to an evolution in customer expectations, such as self-service kiosks, contactless ordering and faster Wi-Fi – all done via the guest’s mobile device, delivering a heightened brand experience. More than ever, with a global and local focus on sustainability and green buildings, hotels that demonstrate environmental-friendly business practices tend to attract more customers. A recent research report by the UN, highlights that 81% of travellers worldwide believe that sustainable travel is important.
The message is clear – as people start travelling again for work or leisure, hotels are expected to raise the bar to meet customer expectations of a seamless and elevated guest experience. It has now become imperative for hotels to quickly adapt and adopt new operating procedures. With the shifting guests’ demands, the hospitality industry’s reliance on technology-enabled services has substantially increased. However, without the right network design and implementation, digital services provided by the hotels to support guest experience will be limited.
Here’s a look at how hotels can leverage network efficiencies to improve the guest experience:
Guest Wi-Fi that’s fast and reliable
Guests pick and choose their hotels based on the amenities they offer. One of the top requests is Wi-Fi, that’s fast and reliable. It could be an executive customer working on an important project, a family trying to stream video on multiple devices, or friends trying to stay in touch with loved ones and post their latest social media updates. No matter where guests are, they expect a dependable Wi-Fi connection. A solid, reliable network that connects the entire hotel, offers real-time data management and manages the bandwidth necessary for high-volume operations is critical for the hotel to deliver the expected guest Wi-Fi experience.
Greater business productivity and efficiency
At the end of the day, you’re running a business and your property’s net operating income depends on the revenue you can generate and the costs you can save. Consequently, integrated IT and OT (Operations Technology) solutions are needed to enable hotels to achieve both.
Significant energy cost savings are possible by bringing thermostats and occupancy sensors online across the hotel property. Automatically track and replace mini bar inventory or use location-based marketing to drive revenue, and track assets (room trays, luggage carts and restroom cleanliness) so staff don’t have to, automate, and personalise the check-in and in-room experience for guests.
Powerful Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithm assistance
The right analytics solution can provide you access to advanced data aggregation and analysis to help push your hotel’s efficiency, productivity, and revenue to new heights. These solutions monitor your network’s traffic and device connectivity to ensure everything runs smoothly for staff and guests. Additionally, effective machine learning can allow you to gain valuable insights that would have been missed using traditional KPI analysis methods.
Better safety and security for guests
Every guest prioritises hotel safety and security, from entry to exit. Similarly, for hotels, guest comfort and satisfaction is the key goal, and the safety and security of employees and guests are paramount to reaching that goal. An intelligent network solution helps prevent issues like lost room keys being used for unauthorised entry into rooms and other restricted areas.
It is also essential to streamline the deployment and operation of Wi-Fi, IoT, and even LTE networks in hotels to ensure the efficient operation of technology and to enable a personalised guest experience. Collaborating with a networking vendor to enable IoT applications such as panic buttons, water leak detection, and other applications is an excellent and necessary step for hospitality players. With an increasing customer and regulatory focus on sustainability, hotels would also need to be adequately equipped with sensors to ensure that environmental regulations can be met. Sensors and cameras can be deployed in common areas or guest rooms to regulate the temperature to cut back on energy costs.
Network design for hospitality comes with its own set of unique challenges. Providing connectivity in the hospitality industry, which is expected to accommodate a growing number of guests, will be distinctly different from a traditional corporate environment where there is full control over the type of devices connecting to the network. As the hospitality industry evolves with more deployment of new technology, such evolution needs to be supported by a robust foundation of fibre cabling, wireless switches and other consolidated connectivity hardware. Having an efficient network can drastically lower costs and allow new IoT applications to be quickly deployed and provide the expected guest experience, which is the ‘new norm’.
Contact a Nextro’s expert to know how to apply Network Efficiencies for your hotel.