Is Hotel Technology Lagging Behind other industries?
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For over a decade I have heard industry pundits, consultants, other experts, and myself say that the hospitality industry lags behind other industries in innovation, investment, and adoption of new technologies. Is this really the case? If so, what are the barriers, issues, and conflicts that have led to this situation? More importantly, what should we do about it?
CIO MEA and Global Accor Strategic Programs
The hospitality industry is definitely lagging behind other industries when it comes to technology. The check-in and check-out process for example has not fundamentally changed since, well ... ever ... In my opinion there are three main reasons (or should we say excuses?) for this, as well as many smaller ones.
1. The fragmented nature of hotel ownership means that it's hard to get investment. Many different entities need to be convinced before a major commitment can be made.
2. We are geographically spread and we have to deal with many different regulations, cultures and systems. This makes it challenging to build something that works everywhere.
3. Hotels don't spend enough money on technology. We remain at the bottom of the 'spend as a percentage of revenue' benchmark, and a low earning potential combined with a high threshold to enter is not a very attractive proposition for a technology company.
Having said this, we are not the only industry that faces these issues so maybe we just need to try harder....