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6 Tech Trends in the Hospitality Industry in 2022

computer screen in man's hand. Image by: Jonas Leupe
Image by Image by Tobias

What do you look for in a venue that offers accommodation? It’s no longer just a bed for the night and Wi-Fi, is it? When many of us make bookings these days we look at what is offered in terms of convenience, safety, and the technology we need.

Smart hospitality business owners know this and have moved to meet this demand, gain loyalty, and stay competitive. 

But which are some of the more common technology trends driven by the global forces that are especially prevalent in 2022? Let’s find out.

#1. Virtual Reality, AI, and Augmented Reality

These three elements are connected to a degree, but it’s interesting to see how they are being embraced by the hospitality industry in 2022, in many cases for the first time. 

  • VR (Virtual Reality) is the simulation of a real environment or situation. It’s a significant development that is especially impactful when a potential guest is considering making a booking. Thanks to VR, the guest can see what’s on offer before deciding whether to make a reservation at a hospitality venue.
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the form of chatbots steps in when it’s impossible to have staff available. It also allows customers to interact and access hospitality establishments via a range of digital channels, 24/7. We may not all like them, but chatbots can handle and reply to simple questions or redirect queries to a human when necessary.
  • Augmented Reality is like VR technology in that it is accessible digitally. However, all you need is a smartphone or internet access. Unlike VR, the user can’t ‘step into’ a simulated reality. What this does is enhance the environment by providing multi-layered information. An example is interactive, touch-activated maps that offer a wealth of information.

Each of these adds a layer of value and convenience for the customer while also freeing up staff to concentrate on other tasks and functions.

#2. Energy Saving Technology and the Internet of Things

Due to the war in Ukraine, every business in 2022 is increasingly focusing on saving on the energy costs. Incorporating technology that helps to do that is an obvious trend in the hospitality industry in 2022. Options include state-of-the-art sensors and detectors that can monitor whether rooms or areas are occupied and cut power to those that aren’t.

At the same time, the IOT (Internet of Things) allows connectivity to a range of ‘smart’ devices and appliances that collect data and interact via the internet. This can be used to monitor and adjust thermostats and lighting and it helps to save energy costs too.

#3. Cybersecurity

Without cybersecurity to protect the data of a business and its clients, the tech used comes with risks that could potentially outweigh the benefits. The hospitality sector received a stark warning in June 2022 when one of Oregon’s, USA, premier luxury resorts was targeted and employees’ and guests’ sensitive information stolen.

Besides that, the war in Ukraine has spiked cyber attacks all over the world. Investing in stronger cybersec protection has clearly become a trend in 2022. So, to safeguard your valuable data as a hospitality manager/owner you should:

  • Protect your devices and those of your customers by using a VPN that encrypts data.
  • Use a guest network to keep their and your staff’s activities separate.
  • Provide cyber awareness training to your staff.
  • Use the cloud and backup data.

These, and other measures, will go a long way to afford protection for the hospitality business, its customers, and its reputation.

#4. Voice Search and Control

Many of us use voice search via our smartphones or personal assistants such as Siri. We have become so accustomed to using voice for a range of features that many people now expect this when away from home too.

Tech-savvy and on-trend hotel owners realize that this capability must be incorporated into hotels too because:

  • Booking engines and websites must be structured to work with this tech.
  • Some guests want to be in accommodation where lights and other in-room devices are voice-controlled.

It’s a win-win because it’s convenient for customers and it makes life easier for the staff. It also helps to reduce touch technology which may impact the spread of COVID-19.

#5. Contactless Payments

The use of contactless payment methods has been growing in popularity with consumers and providers alike. However, the health concerns generated by COVID-19 gave further impetus to a hands-free, automated payment system. 

During the pandemic, customers became accustomed to using or being able to access certain technologies. It resulted in increased demand and expectations for these technologies in 2022.

In addition to hygiene considerations, contactless payments are beneficial for hospitality vendors too as they are quick and compatible with loyalty programs. Both build customer satisfaction. This trend is entrenched as many customers now prefer contactless and cashless transactions. 

Man holding smartphone using scanner.
Image by: Jonas Leupe

Image by: Jonas Leupe

#6. Mobile Check-In and Guest Communication via Messenger

Mobile check-in reduces or eliminates the need for face-to-face interactions. It also allows customers a greater degree of freedom and flexibility about when they arrive and gain access to their rooms. At the same time, it prevents queuing at reception desks and other delays and – during a time of health concerns – limits human exposure.

However, hotels still wish to communicate with their customers. Even if mobile check-in and other tech reduce traditional points of contact. 

Messaging guests address this, but it has been found that people are not keen to use a hotel-specific app. They prefer to communicate via the apps they already use. Following customers’ likes improves business-to-customer communication and makes it easier for the customer to manage their bookings. This functionality is often combined with AI in the form of a chatbot.

In addition, the industry is suffering from a labor crisis in 2022. Mobile-check out, messaging, and chatbots help to ease or balance out this shortfall.

SEE: 50 Ways Dogs Communicate with You

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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