Hoteliers should explore options for integrating in-room applications to generate additional revenue and reduce costs, iBAHN Managing Director Graeme Powell says.
Speaking at the HOSTEC exhibition in London today, Powell says there are a large number of systems in a hotel that could be run as one – such as phone, television and internet – which would reduce costs and allow for value-added services.
“You’ve got the opportunity to use the television, which the guest is familiar with, they’re used to using a remote control, and they understand how it works, to make it easy to use the television to control their room environment, like temperature control,” Powell says.
One example Powell gives is the ability to tailor services according to individual interests – for example, offering guests watching a major sports event the opportunity to order refreshments during half-time via their television set.
“If 15 mins before half-time you could send a pop-up message saying – ‘do you want a beer and a burger?’, but only to those people who are watching the football, it may be a very effective way to generate additional revenue.”
A second example is teaming with a duty-free operator, to give guests the ability to pre-order duty-free goods from their hotel rooms for collection at the airport.
“That would be revenue that the hotelier wouldn’t have seen a slice of previously; they can now say I want a portion of that in return for promoting it to my guests.”
Powell also points out that internet speed is very important to a hotel; as domestic speed increases, guests expect to find a similar or superior service.
He says hotels also need to consider the way they charge for internet usage, ensuring they meet guest expectation while managing the systems appropriately.
“My personal opinion is that basic internet access in hotels will become free in the near future, but what will be chargeable is either high-speed internet access or use of various applications,” Powell says.
“That’s something hoteliers should bear in mind when they’re building their brands for the future.”
iBAHN is a global provider of secure wired and wireless broadband services to the hospitality industry.
By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh