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Technology


QR codes made a huge comeback when hotels reopened after the initial lockdown period.


meant enhancing current systems to allow for the transfer of reservations and enquiries from one hotel to the next. Working from home added another new dimension to automation. It goes without saying that some roles cannot be completed effectively from anywhere other than the hotel, but other office-based roles blossomed with new-found efficiency.


“The best solution seems to be to give guests a choice. Some may prefer to have a fully digital experience, from booking through to check- out, while others will always appreciate the personal interaction.”


Entire back-office processes were reviewed and optimised in the wake of the pandemic. Finance teams were able to take advantage of a reduction in the number of transactions being processed, allowing them to take a more holistic view of operations.


Make the best of it


Meanwhile, revenue management demands were often unrecognisable. Brands that had previously benefitted from cherry-picking the best of the international business travel market had to flip their mindset into generating any demand they could find. It has been a testing time, but hopefully some aspects have had positive long-term effects. As most people working in hospitality are positive by nature, they have endeavoured to


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remain optimistic and take advantage of the lull in normal business to take a step back and review day-to-day activity. Many HOSPA members are from the technology community and many are from finance. In the UK market, IT departments can enhance their internal sales process by educating finance teams about their ability to claim R&D tax credits from HMRC. Similar opportunities may also be available in other countries, and it is worth investigating. Lastly, now there is more technology in place across the hotel industry and this trend is likely to last, it is still important not to lose sight of the human touch in hospitality. The best solution seems to be to give guests a choice. Some may prefer to have a fully digital experience, from booking through to check-out, while others will always appreciate the personal interaction. There is no way to predict what guests will choose – it depends on so many ephemeral factors: the time of day, the guest’s mood and, naturally, the reason behind their visit to your hotel. And don’t underestimate the guest’s desire to engage with new platforms – it is all too easy to assume it is only digital-savvy millennials that are keen to adopt new tech, but it’s most definitely not as simple as that!


The most important takeaways, therefore, are to play the long game with any investments in IT; look into any tax breaks; think commercially; don’t use technology for the sake of it; and don’t gather and save data unless you actually want to make use of the information. ●


Hotel Management International / www.hmi-online.com


koonsiri boonnak/Shutterstock.com


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