Digital Transformation in Hospitality


As modern changes in tech are happening at an extremely rapid rate, the consumer market has changed just as quickly to grow new expectations of what mod-cons are available and how the digital world has been integrated in their hospitality experience. Many of these expectations have become more important through the year too, as the ongoing pandemic has led to a steady rise and adoption of newer technologies across hospitality to allow business to continue as usual.

(Image from linkedin)

Smart rooms, smart service, and the IoT

We’ve come to expect a seamless experience between all of our day-to-day technology uses – and with that comes the minimum expectation of what will be received at any location. This could be through the basics, such as a faster internet connection, through to media usage through platforms such as Netflix. In the age of disruptors like Airbnb, much of this has become a standardised expectation, a basic necessity, rather than an optional extra. This has provided with hospitality sectors, such as the hotel as the integration of platforms such as mobile applications allow users even more control over the room. From lighting to air conditioning to voice assistants for ordering or changing details, the rooms in hospitality have become smarter and the service offered has followed along too.

A virtual change

In a world where virtual and augmented reality exists, often standard imagery and video may not be enough to satisfy the requirements of many, and this has certainly been adopted in the hospitality industry. When the aesthetic appeal can often be a deciding factor for some between placing a booking or not, being able to provide an accurate representation of individual spaces has become more important and this is where the virtual shift is being seen most commonly. The use of virtual reality to give an up-to-date tour of a specific room or specific location to show off the features has certainly started to emerge and give a more accurate representation of what exactly is being paid for. Rather than the standard few photos usually received, this has also highlighted other services often on offer such as onsite facilities in gaming, for example. Whilst the online space has become dominated by sites that allow people to play remotely, such as those listed at, on-site attractions still play an important role, and the virtualisation has helped some bridge the gap for many guests.

A mobile backbone

The common feature that both points and all changes across technological changes in hospitality continue to remain in the mobile space. This isn’t unique to the hospitality industry, but globally our mobile devices are allowing change faster than before. For the hospitality industry guests are able to check-in, check-out, book tables or order food, use guest services, pull up maps, provide staff with information on arrival and departure times along with a whole list of other factors that were not possible as easily as before. It has changed the guest experience and added further convenience to an already largely convenient industry for many. More and more the guest is in control of every aspect of their stay, removing much of the difficulty that comes with tailoring a unique experience from guest to guest, and allowing the hospitality industry to focus on delivering further quality of life changes as the guest makes the important changes from the comfort of their pocket device.

This isn’t to say there aren’t challenges to overcome and old habits that still exist, but the hospitality industry is certainly changing quickly enough to prevent further pitfalls or damage to the industry as has been seen throughout this year, and perhaps even becoming yet another remote experience.