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by Michael J. Shapiro | July 15, 2015
Hotel companies must continue to innovate and fine-tune their mobile technology to maintain guest loyalty and compete with sharing-economy disruptors, finds a report from PwC US. According to Hospitality Directions: Spotlight on Connected Devices, released Wednesday by consulting giant PwC, the "nice-to-have" technology options of today will become necessities in the near future.

Travelers are seeking increasingly personalized experiences, notes the report, something mobile technology helps to accomplish. By improving such tech, hotels can strengthen guest loyalty, motivate return visits, increase average daily rate and drive incremental hotel revenue. One example, mobile check-in, should be the norm by 2017, according to a vast majority of asset managers surveyed by PwC.

The report advises that hotels develop a mobile strategy, driven by increasing competition from the sharing economy and the need to retain guests. Suggestions involve tracking guest preferences from the moment a stay is booked throughout their time at the property. Based on a guest's previous behavior, hoteliers can anticipate needs, such as drink preferences or extra linens. For example, guests might request complimentary amenities from an in-room tablet, or use a connected device in other areas of the property to make real-time requests. Guest-enabled GPS tracking at larger resorts could allow the hotel to deliver location-specific information or promotions at restaurants or shops.

Nearly three-quarters of consumers are willing to share some personal information if they get something in return, according to PwC, but it is crucial that hoteliers address any guest security and privacy concerns. Hotels will need to retain guest trust as they roll out new mobile-enabled benefits. The full report can be found here.