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The Future of the Hotel Guest Experience

Digitally redefining the GX
by Danny I. Shaw 4 min read | Last Updated: 17.10.2019
Person rating digital guest experience on screen

The guest experience in hotels is undergoing a revolution.

Digital solutions integrated with the in-room televisions are redefining how guests can enjoy their stay, as well as how hoteliers can manage and tailor their digital offering.

What does that mean, you ask?

I’ll paint a picture for you:

As a guest enters the hotel room, the in-room TV shows a personalized welcome message on a customized GUI specific to the theme of the hotel.

The TV responds to the guest’s voice commands to turn on the lights, set the wake-up time, change the room temperature, browse TV channels, order room service, call a taxi or even to make dinner reservations.

Illustration of hotel tv ui with welcome message for guest

The guests can use their mobile devices to guide them around the hotel or the local area - or to book extra hotel services, make reservations for a rental car, special events or local sights.

And when they want to relax, they can simply cast their own content from their favorite streaming service to the TV.

The hotel TV allows the guest experience to enter the 21st century.

As I tried to demonstrate above, the TV enables a lot more functionality that one might realize. Let’s dive into that a bit.

The in-room TV takes center stage

So through the TV, hotels can offer custom services for guests that the guests themselves control through tailored user interfaces that communicates the hotel brand.

Delivering the digital guest experience of the modern hotel revolves around this functionality.

To give you some examples, the digital GX can for example include;

  • Casting the guest’s content to the TV
  • In-room automation
  • Mobile or voice technologies, or both
  • Customized mobile apps for things such as booking management, pre-arrival communication, extra service ordering, room registration and information finding.

All these features and functionalities makes the user feel like they have the same conveniences as home and then some.

From a management perspective, hotel TV systems also allow for centralized control of all hotels from a single operations center, and advanced analytics of user behavior data from the TV to enable even more customized guest services that improve the guest experience.

Personalizing the experience

The guest experience should and will be highly personalized, allowing guests to easily access their own entertainment and streaming services during the stay, just as they would in their own living rooms.

Today, this is primarily accomplished through BYOC (Bring Your Own Content), which literally means that guests bring their own digital content as I explained above.

Streaming app logos; Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, Amzaon Prime Video and Hulu

Casting solutions are what enables this opportunity for guests.

Chromecast, AirPlay and Miracast are the main casting technologies on the market and with one, or any a combination of those technologies, the guests can cast content from their streaming services (such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, NBA.com or ESPN.com) to the TV with iOS or Android devices.

API integrations and additional services for increased functionality

Certain functionalities, like some of the ones I mentioned earlier, have already been made available through specific APIs.

For example, integrations can be done with room control/automation systems and voice technologies for controlling in-room hardware and systems through the TV system middleware.

TV systems also enable add-on services through the TV, such as evacuation alarms from the primary alarm system, or housekeeping through dedicated tools for planning and reporting of housekeeping tasks.

Functionalities like these also create opportunities for improved early check in / late check out services as it is integrated with the hotel’s PMS (property management system).

Analytics and cloud management perfect the experience

As a finishing touch to the digital GX, hotels can truly customize and personalize services offered to their guests through analytics of TV and feature usage.

The analytical data generated from the TV menu/GUI will give hotels the behaviour insight they need to rearrange and restructure their service offering, and even optimize it for specific guest profiles.

Maybe some guests love to watch sports while others love to order room service.

Tailoring to various types of people will be the new norm through this type of guest profiling.

Another new capability, a critical capability for hotel groups or chains as a matter of fact, is that rooms, TVs and other screens can be hosted on the same cloud server.

This means that individual rooms, hotels or hotel chains can be centrally managed on a very granular level, making the administration of the TV system and all its functionalities a walk in the park.

Diagram showing central server control of multiple hotels in a chain

Management will be especially easy since hotels can use web-based tools that opens in the internet browser from which personnel can administer hotel entertainment and information in its entirety.

Are you a revolutionary?

The shift towards the modern digital guest experience has already begun.

First-movers are sure to leave the rest behind them in quality of the guest experience and guest satisfaction.

I hope this post has helped you understand what a truly digital GX is, and how the hotel TV is driving the revolution I speak of.

Join the revolution!

Danny I. Shaw, VP Global Sales

Create the GX of tomorrow, today!