How smart technology enhances the hotel guest experience
If the coronavirus outbreak were to accelerate a series of things, one of them would certainly be the digital transformation of businesses in many sectors. It is a fact that, even before the Covid-19 pandemic, there were quite many big hotel chains that had begun to leverage modern, cutting-edge technologies to provide a better experience to their guests. Nonetheless, this approach/practice should be adopted by the whole tourism industry since it is the only way forward.
The rapidly increasing demands of better informed – and anything but technologically “illiterate” – high-end consumers/guests lead to an imperative need for innovative and personalized experiences, not only in the hotel rooms but also in the entire premises of a hotel. Expectations are now high for each phase of the hotel guest journey, before and long after making a hotel reservation, and these particular expectations should shape the long-term strategy of hoteliers, so that they can keep up with the latest trends. Besides, tracking the separate stages of their customer journey, can also provide hoteliers with new opportunities, such as the collection of valuable data on specific guest preferences and behaviors, thus optimizing the personalized services offered to their guests.
From simpler and smaller additions, such as the “smart” control of air conditioning, lighting or even music in the hotel room, to significantly larger – such as the addition of a charging station for electric cars that will attract a new type of guests –modern hotels should make sure that they are not still “too far” from the hotel of the future.
The CapsuleT team spoke with 2 startups that have successfully completed the Acceleration Program and provide such cutting-edge technologies for hotels, in order to find out more about their services and the multiple benefits they entail for both guests and hoteliers. EV Loader, whose application helps hoteliers attract more guests, by offering electric vehicle charging services at their premises and Inomo, whose mobile application enables guests to choose standard in-room “environments”, depending on their mood each time, shared with us some useful details.
⇒ Which are the specific benefits for hoteliers and guests from using your application? What is the feedback you receive from the tourism market?
EV Loader: We have already started a partnership with Throisma Villas in Assos, Cephalonia, in order to install the first charging station on the island. At the same time, our company is addressing the charging infrastructure needs for 3 hotels in Attica. The truth is that many hoteliers have demonstrated an intense interest in our services. Tourism entrepreneurs have already realized that the number of electric vehicle owners is rapidly increasing. Each month, more than 100 electric vehicles are being registered in Greece, thanks to the subsidy program “Go Electric” that the Greek government recently announced. Therefore, a new target audience of high-end customers/visitors has emerged. These people are more likely to choose only hotels with the appropriate charging infrastructure, once they travel by car.
Inomo: There are multiple benefits for a hotelier who wants to move into the new “era”. First of all, our application reduces the installation and maintenance costs required for making a hotel room “smart”. Moreover, our application facilitates the communication between each hotel’s departments and its guests – especially when it comes to the Housekeeping, the Front Desk or the hotel’s gym/spa. Therefore, hoteliers are also able to increase their turnover, thanks to cross-selling services offered through our application. It is worth noting that visitors/guests are increasingly looking for a more personalized, tailor-made experience, depending on their mood and needs each time. This is exactly what we offer through Inomo Suite, thus making all guests feel at home and experience something unique.
⇒ How did the Covid-19 outbreak affect the development of your services?
EV Loader: The changes brought about by the pandemic and the consequent increase in travelers using their car to visit nearby destinations – instead of preferring air travel – make imperative the need for hoteliers to adapt. Thus, they need guidance both in setting up charging stations and in displaying/promoting these stations to drivers, though an appropriate mobile application. EV Loader is able to provide hoteliers with these two services throughout Greece.
Inomo: We have already proceeded with some important adjustments to our application, thus enriching the hotel experience with more hands-free services and providing a more holistic solution to hoteliers, based on the new circumstances imposed by the pandemic. In addition, having thoroughly considered the difficulties travelers may face during their trip to a destination, in which there are stricter measures due to Covid-19, our team of experts has created new “stay scenarios/environments”, so that guests can spend more time in the hotel room happily and creatively!
A few words about the 2 startups
Loader app connects electric car drivers with available charging stations in hotels, parking businesses and retail businesses. Businesses, such as hotels, can increase the visibility of their charging stations, thus creating a new revenue stream for their hotels and offering a unique service that will attract a new type of visitors/guests.
Inomo’s Smart Suite is a mobile application that enables guests to choose standard in-room environments called “Moods” and personalize them, based on their profile and mood each time, per stay. Each mood results to a specific interior design and features. Smart Suite will help hoteliers turn their hotel into a “smart” one, with a lower risk.