DUBAI, UAE – As it finally begins to emerge from crisis mode, new forecasts from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, reveal how hospitality businesses will proactively use technology to deliver improved overall guest experiences over the next decade .
After a transformative few years in which the entire industry adopted critical technology solutions to survive, hotels and venues are becoming increasingly adept at offering a seamless digital experience. As they look ahead, however, this reliance on digital technology poses potential challenges for an industry built on human-to-human experiences. Aruba worked with global trends agency Foresight Factory to reveal five ways the hospitality business will adapt to changing consumer demands to offer the perfect balance between the digital and physical worlds.
1. HOLIDAY COMPANIES WILL OFFER WALK-IN OPTIONS
Building on current contactless trends such as digital check-in and biometric payments, hospitality companies will be able to welcome guests who are not at their venue at all, using innovative technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and the metaverse to offer experiences without presence of the “visitors” anywhere in the world.
2. THE GUEST EXPERIENCE WILL START WELL BEFORE THEY ARRIVE AND CONTINUE LONG AFTER THEY DEPARTURE (FAMOUSLY AND THE RISE OF “OVER-DETAILING”)
Forget looking at pictures or scanning the menu. In the future, guests will no longer do anything without first experiencing the fully interactive, immersive digital option. As the virtual experience becomes a non-negotiable precursor to the real event, companies will begin to offer more creative, sophisticated and personalized “pre-entertainment” options. Meanwhile, “post-stay” services will also be offered to complement the overall experience.
3. THE GUEST EXPERIENCE WILL BECOME A COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENT
The future will see hospitality companies form fully connected communities of businesses around them, powered by the same network, to provide a complete guest experience. By sharing data, venues will be able to provide food and beverage recommendations based on what guests have ordered at other venues or recommend local activities and automatically confirm availability. Elsewhere, community directional and location services could eliminate inconveniences such as waiting times by giving venues the ability to accurately track arrivals and offer “virtual” waiting.
4. HOSPITALITY COMPANIES WILL CARE ABOUT HOW GUESTS FEEL, NOT JUST WHAT THEY SAY
The best customer service involves giving customers what they want before they even know they want it. In the future, automated on-site systems and biometrics will allow hospitality establishments to read and respond to physical cues from their guests – adjusting music, lighting and aroma to match the mood, or tending to the earliest signs of hunger using predictive AI.
5. DATA HAS BECOME A TWO-WAY STREET, WITH HOSPITALITY AND RESPONSIBILITY COMPANIES EXPECTED TO COMMUNICATE INFORMATION TO GUESTS
As guests become both more concerned with making the right choice (with a particular focus on travel) and more empowered to do so with technology, hospitality venues must be ready to share data to aid decision making. Additionally, they must be willing to offer more options that cater to environmental, health and ethical concerns, or risk losing business to more forthcoming and careful competitors.
“Creating a personalized experience based on data and insights will enable venues to improve service levels,” said Sanjeev Katwa, Chief Technology Officer, Tottenham Hotspur. “Similarly, AI and predictive modeling will provide much more efficient use of space, create a sustainable model and ensure repeat business. Further automation using next-generation technology systems will help venues read and respond to guest signals throughout their experience.”
Meeting these expectations requires quickly making sense of the collected data and responding accordingly, which is why simply deploying connectivity-only Wi-Fi solutions is no longer enough.
“Over the next ten years, innovative technology will completely revolutionize the hospitality industry – merging the physical and digital worlds to enhance the customer experience,” said Morten Ilum, vice president, EMEA for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. “As the journey progresses, guests will expect the same level of well-designed, personalized and engaging interactions – no matter when, where or how they choose to engage. Meeting these demands requires quickly making sense of the collected data and reacting accordingly, which is why simply deploying connectivity-only Wi-Fi solutions is no longer enough.
“To find the right recipe for success, hospitality and hospitality companies must ensure they are set up with a highly efficient, secure, reliable and automated network that can facilitate both current and future digital innovations and deliver a complete guest experience , which continues to surprise and delight – whatever the future holds.”
Zeeshan Hadi, Country Manager, UAE at HPE Aruba, commented: “Technology is changing the hospitality industry at a pace never seen before. The pandemic has fundamentally changed, in many cases accelerated, the need for digital transformation across the industry. Today’s guests expect a seamless experience from start to finish. To ensure this, hotel providers must use IoT devices and security in a true infrastructure convergence fashion. And at the heart of it all is a robust, secure and intelligent network.”
About Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is a global leader in secure, intelligent, end-to-cloud networking solutions that use AI to automate the network while leveraging data to drive powerful business outcomes. With Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) and as-a-service options, Aruba takes a native cloud approach to help customers meet their connectivity, security and financial requirements across campus, branch office, data center and remote worker environments. covering all aspects of wired, wireless LAN and wide area network (WAN).
To learn more, visit Aruba at www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates, follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on Aruba mobility and products, visit the Airheads Community at community.arubanetworks.com.
About Foresight Factory
Foresight Factory’s consumer trends and data helped their clients “see beyond.” Revealing different, better answers so they can see further. Combining human and machine intelligence, they interpret changing behavior and signals to reveal what matters most to consumers today – and tomorrow. Empower brands to know what they’re doing, when and why.
With teams in London, New York, Seattle and Singapore, Foresight Factory implements global trends that achieve four strategic goals – eliminate uncertainty, strengthen brand relevance, drive long-term growth and optimize costs.