Industry Update
Opinion Article27 August 2020

Hospitality post COVID-19: Is it the end for the PMS?

Advertorial by Adam Harris, Co-Founder and CEO of Cloudbeds

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The Hospitality Industry has always been about taking care of guests ever since the first known facilities opened to travelers in ancient Greece. In the 1600s Innkeepers in France were required to register all travelers and the first notion of the PMS was born. But what if the PMS is about to disappear?

Let’s first look at consumers. COVID-19 has accelerated the use of mobile devices amongst all generations. With distribution channels severely disrupted and for lack of viable alternatives, services like Amazon and Instacart have soared. But what if this change in behavior is here to stay? The boundaries set by the virus are training generations of consumers on how to transact on their mobile phones for all their purchasing needs.

Before COVID-19 contactless guest communication was a tool to service loyal customers and ease the operations, often at a heavy cost. Old legacy systems lack the integration capabilities and require spaghetti connectivity to deliver a seamless experience. More recently, newer projects and hybrid hospitality (Apartment hotels) have sped ahead and adopted open systems in the cloud.

Post COVID-19 will travelers demand the same seamless and contactless experience in hospitality they have learned to appreciate when ordering their groceries? Will the reception in hotels become obsolete?

Guest safety requirements have pushed owners and operators to identify ways to implement a contactless guest experience that eliminates the traditional workflows. It’s time to look at the underlying technology powering this new simplified workflow. Will it be a Property Management System developed in the 1970s designed to administer the electronic processing of guest profiles, transactional information, and reservation data? Or will it be a system that can do all the things a guest needs in a single, fully automated workflow? At Cloudbeds, we believe it is the latter.

The future of our industry rests in the hands of travelers born after 1979. Gen Z is already set to make up 56% of travelers, and according to our forecast will be the first to travel as restrictions are lifted. Common to this generation is the constant usage of smartphone technology. What if the usage has expanded across all generations; are you ready?

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