The increased use of no-touch technology in a range of operations for hotels may become permanent.GlobalData’s Ralph Hollister predicts that the hotel industry may experience some of the most permanent changes within the tourism sector, being led through advanced technology.
While the use of automation in the industry has been growing swiftly in recent years, many more touchless options will be introduced due to COVID-19 that will need to be factored into the design and fit-out processes.Options may be introduced such as contactless fingerprints instead of room keys, or the use of iris and face recognition when checking in to a hotel.
Hollister, an analyst in the travel and tourism division at GlobalData, says as national infection rates start to decrease across the globe, hotel companies are starting to look to what the industry may look like when demand eventually returns to pre-pandemic levels.Larger hotel chains could further limit the frequency of human contact by introducing service robots, which now may be seen by guests and operators as less of a gimmick and more as a necessity.
He notes that although the initial expense will be costly, introducing forms of advanced technology that will limit the frequency of human contact in hotels will act as a key unique selling point.
This strategy will also be likely to build positive sentiment around a company’s image, as they will be seen as acting proactively in order to ensure guest safety.