A Survey of travel and hospitality professionals by NYU’s Tisch center and PhocusWright (hotelmarketing.com) mentions blogs, web-tv and podcasting as the technologies that will have the least impact on the hotel, tourism and travel industry. Data mining, metasearch and AJAX (a software that makes browser applications look like regular computing applications) won favor among the majority as the next killer technologies.
A better understanding of your customer cannot take a backseat to the latest IPOD-driven service. Hotel companies grappling with the challenges of staying ahead in the technology game should start with the guest – not all guests in NYC hotels are expecting Mp3 accessories or WIFI cameras to rent. Segment your customers, know their age-groups, their occupations and purpose of stay. Research their wishlists – there are some technologies they cannot do without and some that would be nice to have. Free Internet access, in-room TV, perhaps a laptop or cellphone to rent for business travellers.
Pass the remote control to the guest!