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How Covid–19 is transforming the face of the Hotel industry




After nearly two years of disruptions caused by the pandemic, the hotel sector is investing heavily in new technology in the hopes of providing a more personalised experience for customers. In the future, you may expect facial recognition, virtual reality, smartphone check-in, and cryptocurrency payment to be part of your hotel stay.

Facial recognition to open doors

To access your room, forget the plastic, credit-card-like keys you’re used to receiving at the front desk of a hotel. According to EHL, a premier hospitality educational organisation, one of the primary themes in 2022 will be the digital reinvention of the visitor experience. For the simple reason that passengers have grown accustomed to using facial recognition technology with their smartphones, a renowned Swiss hospitality university is urging hotels to incorporate facial recognition systems in their premises. 

According to another analysis published by Open Geeks Lab, between 2021 and 2028, the facial recognition market is expected to increase at a rate of 15.4 percent yearly. Similarly, some people choose to use their fingerprints to unlock their phones. Why shouldn’t we have the same options when it comes to entering our hotel room?

A host of new gadgets in your room

A wireless phone charger, video link access to the concierge, speech recognition control of the TV or lighting… if hotels follow the trend of providing all of these new sorts of technology in their guestrooms, you might feel like you’re in Tony Stark’s universe. Expect these innovations to make their way to you soon. Equipping rooms with such technology will make guests’ lives easier.

Contactless check-in via smartphone

Given the health authorities’ advice to limit interaction during the pandemic, hoteliers may be able to do away with the welcome desk—or at the very least check in visitors on arrival—on a long-term basis. Several smartphone apps have already been developed to allow guests to check-in and acquire a digital key for their room, such as Octorate and Sabee.

Settling the bill with cryptocurrency

PortAventura has joined the crypto movement in Barcelona, as have booking giants Booking and Expedia, as well as the Pavilion Hotels & Resort hotel chain. Bitcoins, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies will become indispensable in connected travellers’ digital wallets. When it comes to processing payments, a revolution in the travel industry is on the horizon. AirBaltic and LOT Polish Airlines, for example, have previously used this payment mechanism. Businesses who ignore this new trend risk missing out on a post-Covid resurgence in the ultra-competitive tourism industry.

Optimizing data for greater personalization

Sharing your personal data is not all bad. In the hotel industry, at least, establishments could use it in innovative ways to enhance clients’ stays, rather than just bombarding them with promotional emails. According to Open Geeks Lab, collecting customers’ preferences when they stay at a hotel could ultimately result in greater satisfaction and loyalty. For example, indicating your preferences regarding the temperature in the room or the hour at which you have breakfast could make for a more seamless stay.