Contactless technology solutions are gaining traction in the hospitality industry, as they reduce the potential risk of contracting COVID-19 through physical touchpoints. Against this backdrop, ‘contactless’ has emerged as the top conversation theme among influencer discussions in the hospitality industry on Twitter during April-September 2020, reveals GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Prashant Saxena, influencer expert at GlobalData, comments: “After the recent relaxation of air travel, hoteliers are getting prepared for their guests to return with the implication of new hospitality technologies to improve operations. They need to leverage self-service along with contact-free technologies with an eye on health, safety and security norms.”
According to GlobalData’s Lodging Influencer Platform, some of the trending contactless solutions are facial recognition, mobile apps for hotels, delivery robots and online F&B order. Facial recognition technology, a contactless biometric technology, enables guests to self-check-in, unlock rooms and activate elevators through face scan only.
Saxena continues: “Guest experience is getting enhanced through mobile apps, which facilitate mobile check-in, mobile check-out, dining with mobile ordering and contactless delivery. Hoteliers are helping wary travellers to feel more comfortable with delivery robots, which reduce the perceived risk of virus transmission due to interpersonal contact.”
Major hotel chains are opting for various technologies for attracting guests while following the COVID-19 protocols. ‘Wyndham Hotels & Resorts app’ by Wyndham Hotel Group, LLC is said to offer digital solutions keeping low-contact in-stay features to navigate challenges of the ongoing pandemic.
Virgin Hotels, LLC and citizenM have upgraded their mobile app with contactless features, including mobile key functionality. MCR Investors LLC, one of the largest hotel management companies, which operates under international brands such as Hilton and Marriott, selected cloud-based property management system to ensure the safety and wellbeing of customers in lodging.
Contactless guest engagement has become a priority for hoteliers to facilitate automated conversational interaction between guests and staff. Menin Hotels, LLC has added Google Nest Hub to its guest rooms to facilitate touchless room control solutions by voice-based command.
Saxena concludes: “Hospitality industry has used the pandemic downtime to invest in technologies, which are customer-centric to regain customer satisfaction on re-opening of hotel properties. Touchless solutions based on artificial intelligence technology are likely to be the new normal for the hospitality sector. Among the contactless solutions, keyless entry, mobile payments have more future potential post-COVID-19-era as well.”