Hospitality Technology recently ran a story about how the top rated hotels online are the ones with the most cutting-edge innovations. On the surface, this is something to applaud because it is a sign that technology is vastly improving the guest experience.
However, this study reinforces something bigger: premium hotels are the ones who can afford these innovation, which is creating a chasm between the tech “haves and have nots.”
The reality is that premium hotels attract a level of guests who are comfortable paying for luxury – from both room an amenities and technology perspective. The higher level of revenue can be used to invest in packages such as the “Selfies in Paris,” as offered by the Mandarin Oriental Paris.
When you pay more, you get more. It’s that simple. The challenge for lower- and mid-tier hotel brands is that the guest is used to finding the best deal, which ultimately drives down profit margins. When this happens, it is much more difficult to have the extra capital required to invest in new innovations.
The other challenge is that competition is fierce among this level of hoteliers, and the battle is always over price. In addition, hotel leadership – especially on the finance side – have a hard time keeping up with the new innovations and understanding the value of technology to officially green-light new implementations.
As they say, the rich get richer, and this is exactly what is happening with hospitality technology. Unfortunately, non-premium hotel brands do not have the revenue to justify new technology investments, which could be perceived as being risky by management.
In the coming weeks, we will be doing a series of posts that discuss these specific challenges, as well as opportunities for hoteliers to “get their feet wet” with new technologies in ways that won’t break the bank.