The results are in for the inaugural Hospitality Technology Sentiment Survey, co-produced by HFTP and Hospitality Net. This survey sponsored by Shiji with partners EHL and Puzzle Partner serves as an indicator of pertinent technology trends in the hospitality industry.
The report uncovers some surprising insights based on the feedback gathered from over 540 survey respondents from around the globe. The report provides results and compelling analysis from visionaries, influencers and executives.
The survey results are intended to help the hospitality industry understand the technology priorities that hotel companies, technology providers and educational institutes believe are the highest priority, based upon current and future guest requirements.
This blog post covers a general overview of the survey results.
View and download the complete report online.
Featured in the report:
- IT budgets for 2020 and beyond
- IT challenges
- Technology investment priorities
- The state of APIs for connectivity
- Revenue growth expectations over the next year
- Guest pain points and demands
About the Respondents
With global coverage which encompasses pertinent topics and key areas of investment focus, this survey represents one of the largest respondent samples in the industry. There were more than 540 respondents represented from around the globe — with over 60 percent having ten or more years of active experience in the hospitality industry. The majority of participants (58 percent) are hoteliers or represent hoteliers, while 17.86 percent represent suppliers.
The insights revealed through the feedback from respondents include the following highlights.
IT Budgets on the Rise
It’s no surprise that IT spend increases year to year, as technology options continue to evolve at rapid rates. According to the study, the majority of respondents (43.14 percent) indicate their budgets are on the rise for 2020, and 21.57 percent are working with the same IT budget as last year. Only a small percentage, 4.31, are seeing a decrease.
Guests around the globe and across generational groups are demanding an increasingly digital and tech-savvy experience, creating industry-wide momentum that shows no sign of slowing down. This budget increase is especially promising for vendors, who can presumably expect an uptick in the adoption of emerging technology and cutting-edge platforms.
So, where are they spending their IT budget? When considering investments into specific product categories, an emphasis was placed on guest experience (46.63 percent) while operations (34.20 percent), technology stack (25.91 percent) and marketing (24.35 percent) followed closely behind.
IT Resources and Continued Innovation
When asked if their organization allocates budget for IT projects which are purely serving innovation or research without any immediate expectations in ROI or guest experience, 61.98 percent said no. When answering this same question, however, 73.42 percent of suppliers said yes.
This, in turn, raises the question: How can industry leaders continue on the path to innovation, without budget allocations that reflect that goal? Moreover, how can vendors continue to push the envelope, if hoteliers are too consumed by the promise of ROI to consider the importance of innovation in equal measure?
Growth projections across our industry appear to be alive and well, with 55.81 percent of respondents saying they are “very confident” in their revenue growth potential within the hospitality industry over the next 12 months.
Delving into the subject of the guest experience, respondents were asked to name the top technology-enabled features (maximum of three) they will always use when staying at a hotel. Wi-Fi (80.51 percent), climate control (43.75 percent), and USB plugs (33.82 percent) were the most popular choices for this segment.
When asked to detail the one technology that causes the most frustration when booking or staying at a hotel, respondents named slow booking process, poor Wi-Fi connection, non-functioning door-lock key cards, and repeating details at check-in.
When it comes to technology investment and priorities the year ahead, budgets are on the rise and stable — thanks primarily to organizations ranking technology to drive guest personalization and experiences as a top priority. It is all part of an effort to meet their primary goal for the new year: attract more guests and keep them coming back.
By focusing more on hotel technology as something integral to delivering frictionless and memorable guest stays instead of just a back-end system behind the scenes, companies will quickly gain the true value of hospitality technology and its potential.
For more survey results, download the full report.