Why Asia leads the race in smart hotel technology
Hotel brands and operators should avoid blindly seeking technology support, only technology matches hotel characteristics will bring real value.
Robots butlers, keyless entry and virtual reality-enhanced room bookings: Hotel guests are increasingly being greeted by these once futuristic tech features around the world.
But hotels in Asia have been upping the ante, with a younger hospitality industry – and many guests in their 20s and 30s – quickly taking to new innovations.
Opportunities and expectations
Asian tech companies are quick to recognise the opportunities in the hospitality industry. Alibaba has developed facial recognition check-in for two Marriott hotels in China, which could be rolled out globally after trials. Hong Kong-based Tink Labs’ created Handy Japan, a concierge-service smartphone that is being used in around 80 countries; Softbank has recently jumped on board to support the initiate as Tokyo prepares for a tourist boom in anticipation of the Olympic Games in 2020.
Evolving with change
As technology becomes a core – and critical – part of hotels, the industry is planning ahead. Progressive Asian cities like Singapore have unveiled a Smart Technology Hotel Road Map to help the industry advance. “It makes sense for governments to support and drive such initiatives. I think we will see similar trends from growing technology hubs in countries such as India and China,” says Langston.
“These are great initiatives. Taking a proactive approach will be the only way to remain abreast with technological advancements. This could similarly accelerate the speed of adoption of technology within the hospitality industry in developing countries such as Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, and Myanmar where the governments see tourism as an excellent vehicle to grow revenues.”
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