New tech in hotels essential for business travelers
 
New tech in hotels essential for business travelers
27 JUNE 2016 7:26 AM

Including new forms of technology throughout an entire hotel is important when it comes to hosting business travelers. 

Business travelers play an instrumental role in the hospitality industry, which is why hotels make every effort to attract these guests to stay at their establishments. But for this to happen, hotel owners must implement the latest technology changes into both their public spaces and their private guestrooms.

Business travelers are no longer impressed with having access to a printer and a conference center, they want the ability to host a virtual meeting in their hotel room. By providing guestrooms that can offer not only the relaxation business travelers crave, but also the functionality of a virtual office their jobs require, hotels will increase their business traveler clientele and turn them into loyal and repeat customers.

Here’s a short list of best practices hoteliers can use to attract more business travelers to their properties.

Use technology to improve the check-in process
Traveling for business is tiring. And the last thing your guest wants to experience after a long day of meetings or a long flight is a slow check-in process.

This is why more hotels are adding features that allow their guests to check themselves in. Some hotels even use an app that allows the guests to check-in while they’re on their way to the hotel. Another added convenience that many hotels have adopted is that they have gotten rid of set check-in times. This service provides business travelers in particular a greater sense of flexibility.

Add technology in high-traffic areas
Most hotels offer free high-speed Wi-Fi access in their lobbies. This is helpful to guests who are checking in, waiting in the lounge between meetings, having a business meeting over lunch or dinner, or waiting for their ride.

Another useful amenity that’s gaining momentum in the hotel industry is the increased number of outlets and charging stations they’ve made available to guests in their hotel lobbies. This is an extra perk especially for business travelers, who are constantly using their phones, laptops, tablets and other devices.

But what if a guest has forgotten to pack a charger for one or more of their devices? This is a common problem that many business travelers face—and it has a relatively simple and low-cost solution. Hotels can carry extra chargers that they either lend or sell to their guests.

In the past, a guest could call down to the front desk and ask for a toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb or deodorant. They still can, but hotels are starting to offer more than these common household items. Lint rollers, computer chargers, power adapters, humidifiers, steamers and even yoga mats are now being offered in many luxury hotels around the world. By offering these items to their guests, hoteliers can improve their guests’ experience.

Include technology in the rooms
Adding technology to high-traffic areas like hotel lobbies is important, but it shouldn’t stop there.

Business travelers require access to modern technology in their rooms—providing a TV, desk and chair isn’t enough if the guests don’t have somewhere to plug in their devices. Their rooms need to act as a relaxing place to sleep as well as a virtual office. Whether it’s to host an on-site meeting or attend a video conference, hotels should provide these modern conveniences to their guests in the privacy of their rooms.

Guestrooms should also offer free wireless connections and multiple outlets to connect and charge various devices. Another convenience that could be added is if the TVs could function as both an entertainment source as well as a second monitor for laptops. Additionally, there should be audio visual equipment available, and an in-room safe that’s big enough to hold a laptop—ideally one with a power connection already built in so it can charge while the guest is out.

Other features that guests appreciate are furniture with built-in outlets or USB ports. In Hong Kong, Tokyo and Paris, hotels let the guests control the TV, lighting, thermostat, order roomservice and send concierge requests by touching a bedside panel with a room automation system. One more important factor is that the rooms need to have good lighting throughout—including the closet so the guest can tell the difference between a navy suit and a black suit.

Hoteliers need to remember that boasting about having free Wi-Fi in their lobbies is no longer a perk, since guests can get that at Starbucks. By providing these extra services and making items available that business travelers need, hotels will improve their guests’ experience and likely increase their repeat business.

Bruno Grinwis is the Principal for Workplace Interiors at BBGM. He has designed over three million square feet of raw space, including private and public conference centers, large corporate headquarters and high-tech facilities. BBGM is an internationally renowned architecture and interior design firm with extensive expertise in the design of government facilities, office buildings, hotels, resorts, high-rise residential, retail, mixed use complexes, master plans for development and renovation/restoration projects. BBGM was founded in 1987 and is based out of Washington, D.C. The recent merger with MONOGRAM, an interior design firm located in Scottsdale, Arizona, allows the firm to provide services both domestically and internationally. To contact Bruno, you can email him at bruno.grinwis@bbgm.com.

The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel News Now or its parent company, STR and its affiliated companies. Columnists published on this site are given the freedom to express views that might be controversial, but our goal is to provoke thought and constructive discussion within our reader community. Please feel free to comment or contact an editor with any questions or concerns.

No Comments

Comments that include blatant advertisements or links to products or company websites will be removed to avoid instances of spam. Also, comments that include profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, solicitations or advertising, or other similarly inappropriate or offensive comments or material will be removed from the site. You are fully responsible for the content you post. The opinions expressed in comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel News Now or its parent company, STR and its affiliated companies. Please report any violations to our editorial staff.