2015 has been an exciting year for hoteliers so far due to the new technology which is now available to hotels of all sizes, helping them to add value to their guests’ experience. Here are some of the major trends in technology which are hitting hotels this year:
Technology that was once only offered to the larger hotel chains is now obtainable by small and medium sized properties. Hotels of all sizes are realising the power of hosted solutions and how it helps to improve business efficiency. Web based platforms like Little Hotelier; an all in one accommodation management system for small hotels, are perfect examples of cloud-based applications that are seeing increasing popularity, resulting in the fast adoption of the product. Hotels should definitely be factoring Cloud Technology into their budgets and marketing strategy throughout 2015.
Google to expand its hotel ads
Google is expected to launch other advertising products for hotels in 2015 that will ensure the online travel booker never leaves the Google experience. Hotels should be developing their presence on Google channels such as Google+, Google Places, and Google Maps; this will help impact Google search results. Set up an account on Google Hotel Finder and take part in Hotel Price Ads to increase direct bookings.
Amazon to launch Amazon Travel
Amazon is expected to expand the capabilities of Amazon Local into an OTA model, opening up lots of opportunities for small and boutique hotels. Amazon could offer lower initial rates which will give hotels a strong channel for distribution, so hotels should begin to build a presence on Amazon Local by offering discounted rates during low occupancy periods as this may well be the starting point for Amazon Travel.
The younger generation is passionate about technology, mobile devices and social media, and eager to get what they desire immediately. For these demanding guests, hotels can now offer a unique experience with automated check in, social lobby and social networks as well as supporting ecological and "green" causes.
Geo locators for hotels
Most smartphone users have their phone to hand 24/7, which presents an opportunity for last minute marketing, proximity offers and improving the attention given to arriving guests through the knowledge of how far away from the hotel they are.
Pay via mobile
Similarly, with bookings coming largely from phones and other mobile devices, completing payments through smartphones will be the next trend. Paypal is already available to use and others are expected to join imminently.