High Tech can Mean Human Touch
One of the constants in the hotel industry is that hoteliers are ever striving to improve the on-property experience for their guests. Be it improving the check-in process, reimagining foodservice, or anticipating guests’ needs to ensure the best possible stay.
As hoteliers look to continually improve their properties, it’s only natural that they’d look at layering in technology as a means to help achieve that goal. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, for one, is testing technology that would allow guests to unlock their doors with their smartphones.
There’s been some debate, though, over where such technology might be taking the industry. Omni Hotels & Resorts’ President Michael Deitemeyer said during a panel discussion at last week’s Americas Lodging Investment Summitthat his hotels would never do keyless entry into rooms or self-service kiosks instead of a smiling front desk clerk. The company wants to emphasize human-to-human interaction rather than human-to-touch-screen interaction.
You certainly can’t blame Omni for that line of thinking. Personal interaction is one of the tenets of the industry. Still, I don’t see this as an either/or game at all. I believe it’s possible to integrate technology into a hotel’s operations and retain that element of human interaction that is so vitally important for hoteliers’ success.
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