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Innovation should come from moving from a room-centered view to a guest-centered one.

In many cases, we’ve seen hotel distribution and technology change during or after a global crisis. But is this a trend that will continue? And what could be the innovation from these crises?

We all agree that people will want to travel again as soon as possible for holidays and business trips. Until travel resembles anything to pre-covid times we have a chance for innovation.

Looking beyond the obvious needs to support health concerns, ‘contactless technology’, how should we prioritize the data and innovate from what is available – what innovation will/should come from the current crisis?

Floor Bleeker

Chief Technology Officer at Accor

During the Covid crisis we have seen an acceleration of contactless technology that already existed in some shape or form. We have not seen many radically different innovations. The frictionless or seamless guest journey (how it was called before the crisis) was on many hotelier’s wish list and is now, thanks to Covid, a reality in many places.

Now that we have online check-in, mobile keys, and other mobile services in place, we also have a platform and that’s where it will become interesting. On the one hand we will collect a lot of data related to the in-hotel guest journey and this data can be used to personalize the stay and offers. With the hotel app being more prominent we can also use it to push services and experiences while the guest is staying with us and this could significantly change the way we interact with our guests.

Ian Millar

Professor at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne

The ultimate crystal ball question! A we have seen the industry has reacted quickly to the contact less situation, from QR codes to mobile. And as we are seeing a good progress in the vaccination situation in a lot of countries some sort of “normal” is starting to make sense. Where we should be concentrating now in hospitality is the “data” aspect of our business. For far too long we have been bad with data as a concept, however being proactive in collecting guest data and preferences before and during their stay will help hotels operate better. This is where I believe mobile messaging is a real must going forward.

Juanjo Rodriguez

Founder and CEO, The Hotels Network

Innovation should come from moving from a room-centered view to a guest-centered one. Look at the full guest journey, since the person starts thinking about traveling (and therefore much earlier than the check-in date). Don’t optimize for room prices, optimize for guest value, which requires deep personalization across that guest journey.

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