How hotels are adapting to a world where Wi-Fi has become a necessary utility and guest devices take center stage at every aspect of the hotel experience
Personalized entertainment has benefitted from a renaissance over the past decade, and society pressures from the pandemic to economic shifts have pushed more and more consumers away from cable TV and toward digital streaming services. These services have become more sophisticated, offering higher-quality video streams, targeted content, and consistent updates ensuring viewers continue to return. These trends coincide with an increase in remote work and work done in hotel rooms, with travelers intent to perform at least some work while away. So much of these travelers’ identities are tied to their personal devices, such as tablets, smartphones, and laptops, including their entertainment choices.
Any solutions hotels employ must be simple at their core. Guests are eager to make use of new tools, but not if they are too cumbersome to use. Hoteliers who enable guests to use their own devices to manage guestroom entertainment will gain a competitive advantage as streaming gradually eclipses cable TV as the most valuable entertainment option on the road. This sentiment is reflected in countless consumer reports, which reflect that while cost is consistently the most important factor influencing 84 percent of consumers’ decisions to choose a streaming platform, ease-of-use comes in second at 81 percent.
Data security is also becoming even more important, particularly with travelers consolidating so much of their identity, payment processes, and more onto digital platforms. Guests want the freedom to use their digital subscriptions while on the road without fear that their information may be lifted off of a hotel’s network, and they deserve reassurance that their identity will be protected. Without providing travelers with this level of confidence, guests may not be willing to interface with hotel technology. Countering this negative perception will require equal parts action and performance in order to inform consumers about the efforts hotels have taken to protect their data.
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