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Redefining Hospitality With IoT

Redefining Hospitality With IoT

Hospitality IoT

October 27, 2021


The Internet of Things is among the most widely discussed technology trends affecting many industries. This includes the hospitality industry that aims to meet its guests’ needs and create a personalized stay experience.

The term “things” on the Internet of Things may appear vague at the outset. However, it simply refers to any internet-connected device used to operate a process, gather data, or exchange information with other devices. This state-of-the-art technology is changing the way services and products deliver value. It improves data collection, increases automation, and allows humans to control many devices from a single interface, even if they’re physically separated.

Shifting towards a new paradigm

IoT has introduced a new paradigm in hospitality, especially in hotels, allowing enterprises to become more intelligent and efficient. Thus, it redefines the guest experience by addressing real-time guest queries and rendering hyper-personalized recommendations. Hospitality is one of the leading industries that has adopted IoT to create innovative services. It has unlocked many facets of the industry where it has been instrumental in the following:

  • Helping understand the guests’ context and predicting their needs
  • Providing the ability to learn the guests’ physical location and present them with real-time and personalized content
  • Creating a sense of smartness in content generation by accounting for historical data, preferences, context, and time
  • Improving hospitality’s back-of-house management by making business operations efficient, preventing critical system failures, and better usage of existing capacity

Moreover, IoT integration in hospitality has helped sustain the quality of service and growth. Thus employees were relieved from routine duties and could focus on high-value tasks. It has added to the enhancement of overall customer satisfaction, thereby creating a competitive advantage in the market.

What led to widespread IoT adoption in the hospitality sector?

The service industry is unique; the offerings are tangible (food) and intangible (food service). They can be perishable, such as hotel rooms or booking reservations at a restaurant. Some of the offerings are simultaneously delivered and consumed. Ultimately all have to be distinct in terms of customer expectations (since we all know no customer is similar)

Once the guests’ gadgets integrate with the hotel, their preferences can be better used to engage and customize the experience. Hence, the guest research and buying process gets shorter. Thus, the experience is hyper-personalized, leading to high guest satisfaction.

The proliferation of IoT technology adoption and implementation can increase revenue and decrease costs. Several attributes like improved customer insights and their stay experience, asset and facility management, security and safety, and most importantly, effective decision-making through data-led analysis can contribute to this.

We have already witnessed how the implementation of IoT technology has demonstrated significant efficacy for the airline and fast food industries concerning in-flight meal production and order-taking, respectively. Besides that, it has also revolutionized hotels across the globe that rely on service operations or behind-the-scenes processes. Using these technologies, they can help orchestrate the front-end services delivered to the end-users or the guests. IoT also leverages big data to assist hospitality service providers like hotels in anticipating customers’ wants and needs. Consequently, it helps them personalize the stay experience and execute faster service recovery to provide a holistically better guest experience.

Applications of the Internet of Things in the hospitality sector

Today, many enterprises in the hospitality industry have implemented the Internet of Things in their ecosystems. The IoT technology provides several critical advantages that are particularly beneficial for the hospitality industry to gain a competitive advantage. These advantages vary from helping businesses save money and provide a better guest experience.

Contactless Service

In the wake of the pandemic, hoteliers have improvised their offerings to reduce the physical touchpoints for guests. This was best achieved with the use of IoT devices. Installing self-service kiosks and digital screens automated the guests’ check-in via keyless entries. With the help of an application installed into the guests’ devices, they started functioning as their room keys. Thus, the waiting time and the need to visit the reception were reduced.

One of the major challenges the hotels face is getting their applications downloaded onto the guests’ devices. HSC’s Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) solution can help hotels overcome this challenge and boost their mobile-first strategy. It provides touchless and secure access to the available hotel services. At the same time, users need not download any application on their devices.

Moreover, the use of voice-enabled technology devices has deepened the personalized room experience for the guests at the hotels. Hotel chains like Marriott and Wynn Las Vegas have implemented voice-enabled systems like Amazon’s Alexa for customer service. The trend is expected to grow and thrive in the coming years. Guests use the service to request hotel room service, reserve tables at the hotel’s restaurants, or sign up for leisure activities such as spa treatments. Post-COVID, such additions to hospitality services have now become a part of providing a differentiated experience to customers and ensuring safety measures.


The ability to fulfill a task without human intervention reduces the chances of error, improves safety and efficiency, and increases productivity. By implementing IoT in hospitality, some tasks are delegated to the machines. This makes more time available for the hotel staff to care for guests and enhance the service experience through co-creative activities. Hotels can thus provide a seamless guest experience, be it in terms of connectivity services like Wi-Fi or preventing service failures for the hotel infrastructure. IoT can help in automating every aspect of the guest journey.


According to reports, customers look for and are willing to pay more for self-designed products and services, which add higher value than standardized ones. IoT adoption enabled hotels to tailor services that create a profound customer-brand relationship and increase revenue. Hotels can leverage customer insights acquired from IoT implementations such as video analytics, sensors, and devices capturing guests’ in-room activities and spending patterns. Consequently, using this information, they can foresee their customers’ needs in advance and tailor the services according to their interests.

Location-aware engagements

Real-time guest tracking and engagement through mobile applications, Wi-Fi, beacon technology, or GPS creates an opportunity for location-based services. Adding a touch of personalization can enhance the service experience. It can make the guests come back again and again. For example, advertising offers on gym services on platforms like guests’ devices whenever they are nearby. Sharing restaurant menus when guests pass by the hotel restaurant is another example. It can also include providing information on local transportation options or nearby attractions.

Hoteliers can use such location data to optimize their staff according to customer traffic in different zones. Smart video camera solutions can generate real-time information within the hotel premises and inform the administration about the busiest areas to ensure adequate staff is maintained.

Asset Management and Energy Conservation

IoT empowers hotels to stay informed about energy usage and create efforts toward the reduction of unnecessary consumption. This is done using occupancy sensors to prevent loss of energy when guests leave the room and utility meter cameras for monitoring utility usage. Moreover, it also opens avenues where guests’ preferences are incorporated into the system while in the room. Thus, it helps increase personalization and enhance the service experience.

Virgin Hotel, for example, has created an application that allows guests to interact with their room’s thermostat, allowing them to set the temperature to their preferred degree of comfort even before entering the room.

To save energy and enhance interior lighting uniformity, Starwood Hotels & Resorts employed a technique known as “daylight harvesting,” which automatically adjusts the energy-efficient LED lighting based on the quantity of natural light detected in the room. Other hotels use pre-programmed “scenes,” such as opening the curtains and turning on the lights as soon as the guestroom door is opened.

According to a study conducted by Cundall, hotels use 28% less energy with such connected lighting systems. Green hospitality, which aims to use less energy and water, is essential for creating a sustainable environment that builds on the perceived benefits the hotel provides to the environment, the employees, and the guests, resulting in a competitive advantage.

The Internet of Things is evolving, and the hospitality sector is transforming because of the rapid pace of innovation and the rising potential for intelligent hotel solutions. Smart hotels will soon become the norm as hotel owners strive to provide the best in guest services and technological facilities.

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