According to TIME Hotels’ IT corporate director, Joseph Fayad, contactless technology, upgraded hotel software systems, integrated guest applications and smart guest rooms are just some of the vital technology trends that Middle East hoteliers should adopt to stimulate new and existing business.
Recent research conducted by eMarketer revealed that travel consumers spend more time on digital media – 6.41 hours a day compared to 5.30 hours a day for all other media, including TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. Because of this, hoteliers should implement more defined digital corporate and marketing strategies, as well as more technologically advanced amenities within the hotel room, to stay ahead of the curve.
Fayad explained: “COVID-19 has undoubtedly accelerated the need to invest in technology to appeal to today’s digitally-savvy online travel consumer. The implementation of immersive technologies that provide guests with virtual 3D tours, apps that allow them to enter their hotel room, change the temperature, call the elevator, book excursions and order room services will be vital in helping hotels recover and stand out from their competitors.”
UAE-based TIME Hotels has adopted a variety of new technology upgrades to appeal to tech guests, including digital menus and digital in-room collaterals, as well as a mobile app, launched in partnership with hospitality solutions provider Neorcha, which provides the user with room access, room controls and the ability to make restaurant and spa bookings.
The hotel management company has also implemented an easy-to-navigate mobile app to capture more direct bookings through a seamless system and capitalise on the increase in guests booking direct via mobile devices.
Meanwhile, guest satisfaction is also addressed through a software tool that allows the guest services team to instantly manage all guest requests and problems by assigning the appropriate department to carry out any actions required.
Adapting to the pandemic, TIME Hotels has not only launched its Sanitised & Ready protocol in partnership with hygiene solutions provider Diversey, but has introduced a range of contactless initiatives, which amongst others, includes contactless check-in and check-out. The hospitality expert also has plans in place to implement digital training to ensure team members can steer strategies relating to the digital technology environment.
“Staff training and advancing the careers of those within TIME Hotels has been one of the fundamentals of our success over the years. With a new wave of technology entering the industry, it is imperative we have the people in place to recognise and implement the changes to stay ahead of the competition,” Fayad concluded.