Top technology megatrends disrupting the hospitality sector in the Middle East

Top technology megatrends disrupting the hospitality sector in the Middle East

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By Yashdeep Sule, director of strategic marketing, Middle East, Turkey, Africa, Honeywell, Environmental and Energy Solutions.

In recent years, the Middle East’s hospitality sector has experienced rapid growth through sustained efforts by both the public and private sectors. This development coincides with the advancement of new technologies, that are creating efficiencies and new possibilities which were not feasible before the Internet of Things (IoT). Digital technology is fast becoming a part of everyday life, and hotels in the Middle East and around the world are embracing new trends that are disrupting the tourism and hospitality industry.

The disruption that digitization is bringing to the industry will require new skills and a shift in strategies. With young populations across the Middle East and some of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world, reaching 228 percent in the UAE and 137 percent in Saudi Arabia, many premium hotel guests are tech-savvy consumers – accustomed to using smart devices to manage nearly every aspect of their business and personal lives. They expect to connect with hotels and resort properties with the same ease.

This rapid digitization trend will affect the entire value chain of the industry; from influencing traveling decisions, to collecting feedback and improving the delivery of products and services*. By blending physical products with software, hotels are increasingly leveraging Internet of Things technology to improve comfort, safety and efficiency at their properties and improve guest satisfaction rates.

Take guest room technologies, for example. Hotels are now installing innovative advanced solutions designed to create an automated guestroom. The devices installed contain sensors and software to control temperature, lighting and drapes and much more. Guestroom technology is key, as hoteliers across the region continue to upgrade to elevate their guest’s experience and to stay ahead of tough competition. For example, some hotels are already eliminating temperature-related guest complaints, using the latest in connected technology.

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As regional industries are moving towards a more green, safe and productive future, it is becoming imperative for hoteliers to install technologies that help reduce energy consumption too. This has great impact on a hotel’s ROI due to the significant reduction in operating costs, besides energy savings.

Energy efficiency is a significant trend, ensuring that hotels can be environmentally cleaner while having a positive impact on regional sustainable development plans. Innovative, environmentally-friendly solutions for a greener, cleaner, energy-efficient hotel are imperative. These solutions provide remote monitoring, automatic billing, easy trending and analysis to optimize energy usage.

Enhancing the experience of the guest will always remain a priority in the hospitality sector. It is crucial for hoteliers to be installing advanced technology and be knowledgeable about the shifts in innovation that add to the transformation of the region’s hospitality sector.  Converged, integrated solutions are in place that work behind the scenes to deliver a luxurious experience—that provide today’s tech-savvy travelers with a smarter class of service. At the same time, these technology systems boost revenue-per-room while saving energy and reducing operating costs. It’s truly a win-win proposition that’s impossible to ignore.

*Source: Global megatrends and their impact on the Middle East’s travel and tourism industry

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