Developing Apps & Software for Hotels: A Guide
The hotel industry is experiencing rapid growth, driven by both leisure travel and the rise of peer-to-peer platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo. To meet the demands of the modern traveler, hotels are turning to custom software solutions to streamline operations and enhance the guest experience.
Custom software enables hotels to manage reservations, provide mobile check-in, track inventory, and offer guests hospitality-related apps. With these tools, hotels can deliver personalized services that meet the expectations of the modern traveler.
Apps for hotels can be designed to provide guests with room information, check their bill, make requests from the concierge, and provide feedback on their stay. These apps not only improve the guest experience but also provide hotels with valuable data to enhance customer service, marketing, and staff deployment.
In this guide, we’ll explore the various types of apps and software solutions available for the hotel industry and the essential features they should have.
The State of Software and Applications in the Hotel Industry
The hotel industry faces unique challenges in developing software solutions to improve their operations. The biggest challenges include:
- Accommodation – To meet the growing demands of travelers, software must address the need to accommodate more guests.
- Conversion – The software must improve the ability of hotels to convert leads into bookings.
- Accessibility – With more bookings taking place on mobile devices, hotels must adapt and increase their accessibility through these platforms.
- Data Management – With the industry growth, the software must also be able to handle the storage of massive amounts of data generated by hotels.
- Revenue Generation – To grow their business, hotels must increase their revenue received from customers.
- Boosting Sales – The software must also help hotels increase sales and compete with industry disrupters such as Airbnb and Vrbo.
The Demand for Hotel Apps and Software Today The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major setback for the hotel and hospitality industry, but it is now making a comeback. With a shift towards digital, contactless solutions, there is a growing demand for hotel-related software. The global market for hotel and hospitality management software is projected to increase by USD 1.14 billion, with a CAGR of 5% from now until 2024. The worldwide market size for online travel booking platforms reached 517.8 billion dollars in 2020, and is estimated to reach 983 billion dollars by 2027.
Mobile Key Technology Mobile keys are a digital solution that replaces traditional physical keys with a smartphone app. This technology addresses the security concerns of traditional key systems in the hotel industry, while also providing a more convenient and satisfying experience for guests.
Features of Mobile Keys:
- On-demand room access – Guests can easily access their rooms using their mobile app, even without network connectivity.
- Key recycling – Keys can be disabled for guests who have checked out, improving security and key management.
- Advanced guest analytics – You can gain insights into guest activity and occupancy through detailed reports.
- Guest feedback – Guests can provide ratings and feedback on their experiences.
- Enhanced security – You can enforce higher security standards such as PIN codes and facial recognition, and limit access requests.
Hotel Software System A hotel software system is designed to streamline and organize hotel operations. This system can manage reservations, create schedules, track inventory, handle guest requests, and integrate with other software for specific processes. For instance, it can integrate with financial software to automate billing, or with customer relationship management software to streamline customer interactions.
Benefits of a Hotel Software System:
- Increased productivity
- Improved efficiency of hotel staff
- Better workflow management
- Maximized asset utilization
Predictive Smart Systems (PSS) Predictive Smart Systems (PSS) are a suite of cloud-based predictive algorithms that can help businesses predict future outcomes and manage their operations. The systems analyze historical data and company rules to make predictions about what lies ahead for a business, and then recommend actions to meet the company’s goals. In the hotel industry, PSS can predict room bookings, the most efficient routes for drivers, and when to purchase supplies for guests. This proactive approach helps the hotel avoid running out of supplies and delivering subpar service to guests.
Digital Concierge Software Digital concierge software improves the guest experience by streamlining the booking process and allowing guests to set preferences for their stay. The software enables the hotel to match guests to the right rooms and schedule, and it provides recommendations for local attractions and services. Guests can use the software to order a ride to the airport or rebook their room. Digital concierge software enhances customer experience, drives sales, and reduces support calls for the hotel industry.
Smart Parking Software Smart Parking software uses digital sensors and AI to analyze open parking spaces. The data gathered helps drivers find available spots and enables parking lot owners to manage their inventory. For paid parking, the software can charge car owners directly and accept payments through mobile devices. It can also alert car owners about the time limit and remaining parking time. Smart Parking saves time by locating open spots and reduces traffic congestion in parking lots.
Booking Technology Optimization (BTO) Booking Technology Optimization (BTO) is a process applied to eCommerce websites to increase sales and improve their online reputation. It uses Google Analytics to identify where traffic is lost in the sales process and employs techniques to improve those metrics. This process is especially useful in the hotel industry, where competition from online travel agencies is increasing. BTO helps hoteliers optimize their sales by analyzing where sales are coming from and implementing changes to improve the sales funnel. This allows hoteliers to compete with online travel agencies and even sell rooms at a lower price than their competition.
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