North Americans Demand Digital Hotels

July 5, 2016
Reading Time: 2 minutes

North American travelers demand technology from their hotels.

Nearly nine in ten (89 percent) of hotel guests across North America now demand technology that enhances their stay, new research has found. A poll by YouGov found that beating queues and gaining quicker access to services are the main driving forces, with around the same number of respondents claiming hotels have at least one thing that wastes time.

Delays cited include long check-ins and key card problems. A further 60 percent said mobile services, such as using smartphones as keys and ordering room service on mobile devices, would help to save time. Another 92 percent said they would make better use of any time saved, including planning future bookings, as well as ordering a drink and making restaurant reservations.

Nearly half of respondents (45 percent) said that a good experience with technology would also make them more inclined to leave a good review of a hotel online, while more than a third (39 percent) said they would be more likely to book with a hotel that offered mobile check in.

Jeremy Ward, the former president of HTNG, commented: “This technology is here already and the hotel industry should see this as an incentive. It’s not to say turning hotels digital is easy, but the type of technology the research shows people want certainly isn’t the stuff of Star Trek or other famous sci-fi movies. It’s a powerful encouragement when you know there’s a demand, and when it seems many guests would pay extra for it. In fact, the results say nearly half (47 percent) would accept higher rates if those dollars included reliable tech.”

Jason Jefferys, chief executive of iRiS Software Systems, which commissioned the research, added: “The research suggests good mobile technology, which saves guests time, will build customer loyalty. It presents evidence of guests preferring to book through hotel-owned apps rather than via commission hungry online travel agents.”