IFE ADEDAPO writes on the transformations that will improve hotel patronage
Hotels in Lagos have recently attained a fraction of transformation similar to others globally through the grading and classification of their facilities into five, four and three stars.
With the likes of hotels.ng and other online travel agencies providing an online platform for hotel bookings in the country, experts envisage more changes in the sector in the coming years.
A Grant Thornton report, examines the irreversible change expected in the hotel sector in the coming years, and how hotels will attract the business and leisure guests as well as compete in a digital world.
The report titled, ‘Hotels 2020: Welcoming tomorrow’s guests,’ says that the hotel industry is going through a period of unprecedented, irreversible change and will look very different in 2020 than it does today.
The changes as contained in the report are:
Develop apps to improve customer experience
The report notes that the hotel sector lags behind in the adoption of advanced technology even though many are already using mobile technology to provide accessible, customised and relevant customer services.
With widespread use of smartphones, the report says that this should be an opportunity for hotels to personalise their customer experience.
It says, “Hotel companies that can deliver effective mobile-centric personalisation will become brands of choice for the guests of 2020.
“With millennials as a key target segment, personalisation will grow hugely over the next few years. Hotels will need to personalise services from guests’ booking experience to their in-room preferences around lighting, temperature and refreshments. Hoteliers that can deliver effective mobile-centric personalisation will become brands of choice.”
The global leader of technology, Grant Thornton, Steven Perkins, believes so. He adds, “The biggest hotel brands may have announced mobile strategies,” he says, “but they are doing so far later than leaders in consumer packaged goods, personal banking and transport. Many are still focused on developing their websites, whereas the guests of 2020 will search, compare price, book, and check-in through apps on their mobiles.”
In particular, they must consider apps to personalise the guest experience – from choosing rooms to specifying lighting and temperature levels.
Citing the example of the Holiday Inn, which teamed up with Samsung during the London 2012 Olympics, it says the apps that will enable guests to control their rooms’ television, air-conditioning and lights with their smartphones was used.
The report notes that various other hotels are rolling out apps to let guests use their phones to open their room doors, select a room of their choice and specifying lighting and temperature levels.