All tech and less service?

The special business travel section in today’s New York Times has an article entitled Hotel Extravaganzas. The article runs along a similar vein to a number of of similarly oriented pieces in other national and international newspapers including one a few days earlier in the Los Angeles Times – that of hotels trying to outdo themselves in being the first to offer a plethora of tech devices in an attempt to cater to an information-centric guest looking to be “plugged-in” 24/7. With business cresting new highs by the day budgets are considerably more elastic allowing for unprecedented largesse. But hotels that feel the need to replace technology in 24 month cycles – some very high end hotels apparently do – should take a look at consumer feedback that points to service expectations. Across segments those expectations tend to rise with the room rate. Providing state of the connectivity may result in missing out on the human element. That is one connection hotels ought never to unplug from.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.