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Guest expectations have changed. Here's how tech can help

For years, hotels have adapted their business to meet evolving guest expectations, however, in the wake of Covid, the hospitality industry faced unprecedented change and everything from how travellers researched their trip to how they interacted with a property shifted.
Source: ©Cathy Yeulet via
Source: ©Cathy Yeulet via 123RF

Every day, guest expectations are becoming more and more complex. Things like speedy WiFi and online check-in are no longer a 'nice to have' and many tech-savvy guests now expect self-serve solutions during their stay.

According to a new research study by Skift, titled Hospitality in 2025: Automated, Intelligent… and More Personal, 73% of travellers want to use their mobile device to manage their hotel experience, including checking in and out, paying, ordering food, and more.

The good news is that hotels that meet and exceed the expectations of modern guests can benefit from increased loyalty and revenue. Here are several technologies that even small and medium-sized independent hotels can leverage throughout the guest journey to create a 5-star experience and lifelong customers.

Stage 1: Research

It’s simple. The more people can find you, the more they can book you. According to Phocuswright, it is predicted that in 8 years, over 80% of all accommodation bookings will be made online. It is therefore critical that hotels invest in their online presence to meet new guest expectations.

To increase online visibility, hotels should consider having a website that is easy to find and navigate, using relevant social media channels, and being visible on major OTA sites and metasearch engines like Tripadvisor and Google Hotels.

Stage 2: Booking

To maximise the guest experience during the booking stage, hotels should optimise their website with an intelligent booking engine. Hotels can also consider offering direct booking discount codes to entice guests further and implementing chatbot technology to assist with online bookings, answer FAQs, and promote upsells.

Stage 3: Arrival

Hotel guest check-ins typically result in long waiting times, frustrated guests and flustered front-desk staff. Moving the process to an online check-in means guests can complete all forms and screenings before they get to the hotel, enhancing the guest experience while simultaneously cutting down tedious administrative tasks.

Another way to save time and effort is to allow guests to check in online using digital ID verification software that automatically populates guest information directly into the PMS.

Stage 4: Stay

In-room technology adds an element of convenience that improves the guest experience. Even small and medium-sized independent hotels can leverage hotel room technology that travellers are looking for today such as Alexa for Hospitality, interactive TVs, digital room keys and automated text messaging services.

Stage 5: Post-stay

Building customer relationships is more manageable with hotel technology. Hoteliers with the right hotel management system can automatically trigger personalised mobile communication throughout the guest journey, including after their stay. Hoteliers can consider creating a post-stay email with a redeemable discount code to encourage repeat bookings or a quick survey to show guests that you care about their experience.

It is more important than ever to adapt to the connected traveller.

About Niels Verspui

Niels Verspui, Market Head at RoomRaccoon.

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