The hospitality industry, known for its personal touch, is increasingly leaning into technology to enhance guest experiences and streamline operations. A recent panel discussion at the 2023 Boutique Hotel Investment Conference by BLLA featuring industry experts offered valuable insights into how technology could act as an enabler for better service and more profitable operations. There were a diverse set of perspectives from Neil Foster from HFTP, Jason Pinto from Pace Revenue, David Disque from Corporate Spending Innovations, Deborah O'Donnell from DIRECTV, and Curtis Crimmins from Roomza. Each panelist offered unique perspectives on technology, demonstrating the scope and diversity in the field.
Technology as an Enabler
One of the critical points discussed was the shift in perception of technology from being a cost center to an enabler. Jason emphasized that hoteliers must view technology as a tool to achieve specific objectives, such as improving guest satisfaction and driving revenue.
Thinking about technology in more of a growth mindset, something can really drive top-line and drive performance, he explained.
David pointed out the importance of working with technology providers who have specific experience in the hospitality industry. These providers offer solutions that understand the complexities unique to the sector, enabling a more streamlined and efficient integration into existing systems. David also highlighted the importance of asking the right questions when selecting a technology provider, such as their experience with industry-specific vendors and payment systems.
Partnership Over Transaction
Both Jason and David stressed the importance of choosing a technology provider that would act as a partner rather than a vendor. In the rapidly evolving tech landscape, a partnership allows for continuous improvement and adaptation.
You really want someone who's going to partner with you to help educate you about the potential capabilities and opportunities that come through using the platform, said Jason.
Finding the Right Fit
Neil raised the point that deciding which technology should be prioritized is an essential aspect for boutique hotel owners. The panelists agreed that each technology tool's impact should align with the hotel's overall objectives, whether it's enhancing guest experiences or streamlining back-office operations.
The panel offered compelling arguments for the adoption of specialized technology to drive performance in the hospitality sector. While technology should never replace the personal touch that defines the industry, when used wisely, it can serve as an invaluable tool to improve services, optimize operations, and increase profits.