Three Notable Hospitality Trends for 2021

Written by: Andrew Wolfe, Account Executive

I recently read an article on “100 Hotel Trends for 2021 and Beyond”, and while there is a lot of great info in the article, a few items really jumped out at me as being particularly relevant for 2021.  Working in the vacation rental/short term rental market, I’ve seen some of our customers adopt some of these trends, and many are questioning the ability to implement these solutions in the constantly changing market – especially when their disposable income was hit so hard in the last year.  Here are the three trends that really stood out to me from this article that if you don’t already have on your radar, you should:

Smart Controls

Many vacation rentals include smart technologies in their properties to make their lives, and that of their guests, easier. These smart controls could include smart locks, temperature sensors, noise sensors, and much more. Companies implementing these technologies no longer need to provide keys to their tenants and they can set/reset the temperature in the room when the guest arrives/departs.  While it’s great to have that control from an operational perspective, wouldn’t it be great to allow the guests to control the tech using their voice?  At the end of 2019, I stayed in a hotel in Las Vegas and I was surprised at the time to see an Echo Dot device on the desk when I entered.  There was a note saying that I could use my voice to change the temperature in the room, control the tv, control the lights, and call down to the front desk.  Being someone that loves technology, I thought this was amazing!  Allowing your guests to do the same in your vacation rental only increases the customer experience, and I guarantee they’ll tell their friends and family about the cool new experience they had at your property.

Blazing Fast Internet

If this isn’t a given – you’re likely falling behind. Many companies still struggle with the cost of adding a faster internet connection and forget that it’s not always about the connection speed – but also your distribution of connectivity.  For smaller properties, 100Mbps is adequate for most guests and when you get into larger properties with more people staying, you’re going to need a larger internet pipe – particularly because the vast majority of operational and guest devices run off WiFi.  It might sound great to say that you have a 1000Mbps internet connection, but if the WiFi in your property is spotty and not properly distributed, no one is going to care.  Having a company complete a WiFi assessment on your property is paramount to ensure proper coverage.  This will indicate any areas where there are weak spots or dead zones which can really diminish the experience for your guests.  Multiple WiFi access points may be required in a property to distribute the signal properly and evenly and to ensure the best experience, each should be wired back to a switch.  This will give the best quality of WiFi throughout your property.

Bring Your Own Streaming

If you still have a cable package, I’m sure you’ve said at least once, “there’s nothing on TV”.  In most cases, when I travel, I’m not there to sit in my rental watching television; I’m the kind of person that wants to explore new cities and areas, and enjoy my vacation.  Many of our customers are moving away from traditional cable, and providing Smart TV’s so that their guests can stream their favorite shows from their own Netflix, Hulu, or Prime accounts.  While this tech is convenient for your guests, it’s also important to understand the demographics you attract.  It goes without saying that most older guests appreciate the ability to pick up the tv remote, press power, and be able to watch TV just like at home (particularly live sports and news channels).  Younger guests likely don’t have cable at home, therefore they likely wouldn’t even use it if you had it in your room.  Providing a solution that allows guests to stream their own content may require a little more work for your admin staff but there are services available to automatically log guests out of their streaming accounts.  If your company doesn’t have this tech, you’ll need to ensure logging out of the various streaming services is a part of your check out process because it’s a huge security risk to have stray accounts on TVs.

Some of the trends listed in this article felt outdated, with references to information/organizations that I think are no longer relevant. What I did take from this article is that technology has really been the name of the game in the last two years, and I believe it will be for many more years to come. Guests are growing more and more accustomed to technology to the point where some items they expect you to have. What do you think about these 100 trends? Are they old news or relevant to your business?

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