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Late last year, IBISWorld issued a report about the state of the global hotel industry, which has been experiencing a period of significant growth. The study stated that of the 709,000 hotels, resorts and casinos worldwide, they collectively have over $1 trillion in revenue.

RevPAR now also surpasses the peaks in 2000 and 2007, according to Smith Travel Research, with all indicators showing that these numbers are growing at record levels.

For any industry that is going through such a robust rebound, many capital investments into IT and other innovations becomes a major priority. When IT budgets rapidly increase, hotel technology leaders are faced with a special challenge – ensuring the right solutions are procured.

It is also very easy to make innovation investments in solutions that, while they may seem ideal from a PR perspective, are not practical for guests. For example, one of the biggest hotel IT story this year is the big “robot concierge takeover.”  Robots certainly make for great headlines, but do guests actually want to interact with machines? It remains to be seen.

This is why we recommend investing in innovations that truly enhance the guest experience – throughout the entire stay cycle.

In addition, before making any significant IT investment, it is worth the time and resource to gain insights into guest preferences. These insights may surprise you: great Wifi and a free breakfast are often what guests really want.

While we have covered the need for developing truly guest-centric many times in this past, it is always good to re-remind ourselves of this strategy – especially as the hotel sector continues to experience massive growth.