How 5G is Expected to Transform the Hospitality Industry?
Mobile internet browsing started with 3G. Then, 4G enabled people to stream online audio and videos. Now, it’s 5G’s turn to transform the world.
By 2025, 5G is predicted to reach over 3.6 billion people. Like every new generation of wireless technology, 5G has also majorly impacted how we interact with the internet. Therefore, quite obviously, it is bound to impact the hospitality industry as well.
The hospitality industry has been arming itself with technological advancements for quite some time now. And the reason for this is fairly simple. Customer behaviour is changing.
Guests no longer wish to be waited on continuously because this builds up a dependence on the staff. Guests have been seeking their own autonomy for a long time. This basically means making processes like check-in and check-out completely autonomous. Not just this. COVID-19 has already caused a major change in the behaviour of the guests. Guests want to avoid contact with other guests and the hotel staff as much as possible.
Thankfully, 5G actually ensures that a completely “contactless” hotel stay is possible. ‘How?’ you might be wondering.
Well, the answer is simple. The chief benefit of 5G is that it is fast. Way faster than its predecessor- 4G. This means that it takes way less time for devices to communicate with wireless networks. This, in turn, makes it way easier for the guests to communicate with the hotel’s website or app.
Yes, having a well-functioning Property Management System is only possible if you have a 5G network. Otherwise, guests won’t be able to put in their requests at all.
That’s not all, however. These are the various other ways in which 5G helps out the hotel industry.
5 Ways 5G Will Transform the Hospitality Industry:
Provide Autonomy to the Guests
As I have mentioned before, guests want complete control over their time and space when they visit hotels. Hotels, after all, are meant to feel like second homes.
5G can provide the guests autonomy in various ways. Self-check-in and check out are just the beginning. Yes, the PMS can hand over digital keys to the guests the moment they confirm their room booking. They don’t need to be anywhere near the hotel for this purpose. As soon as they scan this QR code at the room entrance, they should be able to enter. This not only improves guest satisfaction but lowers your labor costs as a hotelier. You no longer have to hire an experienced concierge who will have to man the front desk 24×7. Digital check-ins pave the path towards the future.
Not just this. With 5G, the guests will be able to modify their room temperature, lighting, TV, and all other in-room amenities. All they will require for this are their own phones. Many hotels have also installed Alexa in their rooms so that guests can make requests through voice commands.
A Property Management System like StayFlexi also offers the option of Smart Housekeeping. Through this, your guests can contact the staff directly without calling the front desk first. All they have to do is make their requests through their hotel app or website. The requests will be routed to the staff member who is assigned to that guest. If that staff member is busy, the request will be re-routed to the backup staff member.
All the things mentioned above are currently being implemented in the hotel industry. All thanks to the mighty 5G.
Enhanced Entertainment Options
Pulling a direct thread from the last point, 5G also provides guests way greater autonomy over their entertainment options.
For example, you can just request the Alexa in your room to book you a spa appointment. You can also ask her to book you a rental car so that you can go sight-seeing. You don’t need to personally visit the travel desk for this purpose. If your hotel doesn’t have Alexas installed, the guests can do this via the hotel website or app. Either way, all they’ll require is a phone and a 5G connection.
Also, virtual games and exercise classes have become fashionable nowadays. Guests can take virtual spin classes or dance lessons at their own convenience instead of sticking to a schedule. Virtual Entertainment or Virtual Reality has come a long way. Now guests can enjoy virtual live concert experiences with recorded band sessions.
You can never offer so many entertainment options if you attempt to provide it in reality. With virtual entertainment, each member of the family can enjoy their own favorite pastimes at the same time!
5G has another rather unprecedented benefit. Often it is difficult to explain to the guests where each location in your hotel is. With a 5G connectivity, you can easily direct them to the swimming pools or the spa centers via an in-hotel map.
Every hotel is currently engaged in a tooth-and-nail battle to compete with one another for guests after the pandemic. And you cannot win this competition if you have the same old, boring facilities as the rest of your dozen competitors.
Personalization is the only way to set yourself apart. You need to tailor your hotel facilities to the specific guest that you are entertaining.
5G makes it way easier for you to personalize. As stated before, you’re already letting the guests have greater control over their own stay. But it’s not just limited to this. There are hotels with face-recognition technologies that immediately recognize returning guests. In this way, you can offer them special offers and loyalty rewards.
Moreover, the same guest might not always have similar demands. A 27-year-old visiting for work purposes will have drastically different priorities than when he is visiting with his family. Having a PMS that allows early check-in enables you to understand the guest’s expectations long before they step into the hotel.
There are various other ways in which personalization works as well. Since a PMS stores data on guest profiles, you can target your advertisements better. This also allows you to offer specific discounts to specific groups of people.
Long story short, customer data enables you to personalize your services according to their specific tastes. And 5G enables you to collect customer data more efficiently. Be it flower preferences for their welcome bouquet or their favorite entertainment options- you must know your guest’s preferences.
Base Your Decisions on Data
As I have mentioned before, 5G enables you to collect customer data faster. But that’s not the only kind of data that you should be paying close attention to. As a hotelier, you’re probably spending millions every year on your electricity and other utility bills.
Do you know how to bring the value of these bills down? Base your future decisions on hard data. You can now easily track what your guests’ preferences are regarding lighting, room temperatures, etc. So, you can manage energy consumption better by focusing on your guests’ behaviors. Did you know New York’s Chatwal Hotel reduced its energy consumption bills by 90% by investing in smart lighting? At the core of smart lighting lies the principle of sustainability. This way you not only reduce tons of unnecessary fossil fuel wastage but also save your own money.
The lights are controlled by the guests and only function when needed. Moreover, they are completely customizable.
The same is valid for food wastage. This mobile-based tracking system allows you to understand exactly what is being ordered and in what quantity. So, you don’t need to prepare a huge quantity of food that will go uneaten. Not to mention, this also helps you collect data on what your most popular items are. This way you can advertise them separately.
Better Tech for Meetings and Events
Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Team- these have become the most oft-spoken words after the pandemic. It’s unimaginable that future conferences will be held without these online hosting platforms.
Yes, a group of businessmen may congregate at your hotel but they will definitely have online links to their overseas partners. With 5G, this connectivity has become a piece of cake. If you ensure that meetings can go on without a hitch, it’ll only draw more businesses to your hotel.
The same applies to online workshops and events that require greater online participation. 5G is not the initiator, definitely, but it is what ensures the smoothness of these interactions.
5G in isolation won’t be responsible for changing the current face of the hotel industry. It will simply ensure a fast connection. You need to apply your own innovative ideas to utilize the 5G connection to the fullest. But don’t worry, Property Management Systems take care of all these for you. They just require a strong 5G connection to perform well.
In which other ways do you think 5G can be utilized in the hotel industry? Let me know in the comments below!