Technology Solutions Paired with Cost Cutting Measures Drive Performance
According to data analysts at last month’s Hunter Hotel Conference, the U.S. hotel industry won’t face an economic downturn this year. While the pace of growth experienced in 2015 is slowing down, the numbers for 2016 should make hoteliers quite happy. Gains in consumer confidence will spur more travel, another positive sign for the industry. How might hospitality automation play into the mix?
Mark Woodworth, senior managing director of CBRE Hotels, predicts the following markets will have stronger overall economic growth moving forward.
- San Jose/Santa Cruz, California
- Oakland, California
- Orlando, Florida
- San Diego, California
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Anaheim, California
- Boston, Massachusetts
On the other hand, Woodworth sees some markets lagging behind including Minneapolis, Seattle, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Austin, Houston and New York City. While the economic news is generally positive, keeping an eye out for the next downtown is top of mind for hoteliers. That being said what should hotel executives focus on this year? Below are three recommendations for 2016.
Invest in the product and service experience to build guest loyalty
Loyalty is important; it’s what keeps people coming back to a particular hotel or chain of properties. These are the same people who eventually become brand ambassadors. Loyalty is built on a consistent experience of exceptional service, and each step along the customer journey contributes to that experience. Hotels need to make a bigger impact online and take control of their marketing and messaging. A good place to start is a hotel’s own website. Often hotels do not take advantage of big data or guest information as compared to third-party booking sites. Instead, hotels should focus on a personalized approach to bookings that takes into account a customer’s preferences, history and tastes.
Invest in technology and renovation of properties
Many hotel owners across the United States are already investing in property upgrades, doing everything from rewiring guest rooms and adding smart TVs to replacing bathtubs with walk-in showers. Investing in systems that automate the guest experience not only increases satisfaction but also contributes to an increase in operational efficiencies. Eliminating room keys in favor of digital ones is being deployed across many high-end hotel properties. These solutions allow any smartphone to act as a guest room key. Hotel guests simply use their mobile device (on any mobile phone network) to unlock their door safely and securely. This enables hotels to offer their guests the highly desired front desk bypass solution.
Focus on the basics of operating a hotel
The objective of every hotel is to drive revenue and grow profits while at the same time trying to find ways to reduce expenses and manage costs. Every member of your team needs to bear this in mind and make it their number one focus. So how do hotel owners control costs without sacrificing quality service? Here are some simple recommendations.
- Renegotiate annual supplier contracts
- Reduce overhead by reducing inventory
- Reduce travel and printing materials
- Invest in lighting control to reduce utility bills, conserve energy and extend bulb life
In the end, the changes hotels make in 2016 are about increasing guest satisfaction and loyalty. CytexOne is here to support your hospitality automation needs. We deliver high-performance Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for hospitality businesses that ensure staff productivity, maximize comfort, energy efficiency and security, and maintain an always-on, connected environment. Fill out the online contact form to schedule a one-on-one consultation.