According to a new research study, “Hospitality in 2025: Automated, Intelligent… and More Personal,” 95% of people plan to travel in the next six months. However, many want to eliminate the ‘touch’ from the high-touch industry they once knew. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of travelers want to use their mobile device to manage their hotel experience, including checking in and out, paying, ordering food and more.
The study, which was conducted by Oracle Hospitality in partnership with Skift, finds that travelers are also looking to personalize their journey even more by picking their exact room and floor and paying for only the amenities they want— and even wanting to pre-screen properties in the metaverse (68%). Moreover, 74% are interested in hotels using AI to better tailor services and offers, such as room pricing or food suggestions and discounts. Nearly 40% of hotel executives see this ‘unbundled’ model as the future of hotel revenue management.
Other key findings:
- 73% agree that they’re more likely to stay at a hotel that offers self-service technology to minimize contact with the staff and other guests.
- 38% want a fully self-service model, with staff only available upon request.
- 39% want to order room service from their phone or a chatbot.
- 49% are also looking for contactless payments (only 5% want to pay in crypto).
The labor shortage remains a top issue in the hotel industry, but hoteliers are working hard to onboard new tech to ease the strain on guests and staff:
- 65% of hoteliers said incorporating new technologies for staff best describes their strategy to weather labor shortages and attract new talent.
- 96% are investing in contactless technology, with 62% noting “a fully contactless experience” is likely to be the most widely adopted tech in the industry in the next three years.
- 54% added that their highest priority is to adopt tech that improves or eliminates the need for the front desk experience between now and 2025.
Travelers are mixed on how patient they are willing to be in this transition:
- 39% said they want a fully contactless experience for all basic hotel transactions (check-in/out, food & beverage, room keys, etc.).
- 34% said a staff shortage, and resulting slow service, would be their #1 deterrent to rebooking a hotel. However, just 23% noted that a lack of daily room cleaning is an issue, showing consumers have accepted (and 17% welcomed) that this pre-pandemic mainstay is never coming back.
The study also found that travelers want the ease and convenience of home while traveling:
- 45% said on-demand entertainment access that seamlessly connects to their personal streaming or gaming accounts is their #1 must-have during their stay. Likewise, 45% of hotel executives said this in-room entertainment set-up is what they’re most likely to implement by 2025.
- 77% of travelers are interested in using automated messaging or chatbots for customer service requests at hotels.
- 43% want voice-activated controls for all amenities in their rooms (lights, curtains, door locks, etc.).
- 25% want room controls that auto-adjust temperature, lighting and even digital art based on pre-shared preferences
The study surveyed 5,266 consumers and 633 hotel executives across the world in the spring of 2022.