Demonstrating Professionalism In The Tourism, Hospitality, And Events Industry

Learning Outcomes

Technology has become an integral part of every aspect of life, as well as business. Every type of business in the world heavily depends on technology for efficient and effective functioning. The hotel and hospitality industry is no exception. As technology is getting advanced at quite a faster pace than earlier, the expectations of the customers as well as the business function are rapidly changing too. The technology is used by the hotel industry not only to provide a seamless experience to the customers, but also to stay ahead of the competitors by retaining the existing customers and gaining new customers (Vasadze, Mosashvili & Duruli, 2018). Technological advancement has changed the market trends for the hospitality industry as in other industries.

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The hotels now focus on innovations and providing the technologies, such as, Wi-Fi, cyber security, digital keys to rooms, digital conference facilities in the banquets, online room booking facilities, website and mobile app based services, online payment system and many more (Kattara & El-Said, 2013). The guest journey cycle has a few steps and each of the steps is integrating the advanced technology for effective working and experience. As the number of younger tech-savvy generation is increasing in the guest lists, with millennials capturing only one third of the hotel guests, the hotel industry has started to focus on catering those younger generation with digital-savvy techniques (, 2018).

The report will highlight the prevalence of technology in each part of the guest journey cycle and how the technologies are influencing the customer experience and business functioning. It will also provide recommendations to improve the services in hotel industry for further efficiency.

2.0 Guest journey cycle

Guest journey cycle or guest cycle is a very important factor in the hospitality industry. The entire business of the industry is dependent on the guest cycle. As stated by Ivanova & Biloivanova (2017), guest cycle refers to the activities that a guest goes through while booking hotel, staying there and then leaving. In other words, a guest cycle starts when a guest starts enquiry regarding the accommodation facilities and ends when the guest departs from the hotel. There are 4 stages of guest journey cycle, namely, pre-arrival, arrival, occupancy and departure (Kattara & El-Said, 2013). All the activities under these 4 stages are included in the guest cycle.

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Figure 1: Guest journey cycle

(Source: Author)

The above image shows elaborate stages of guest journey cycle. The first three stages refer to the arrival stage, and the following steps are from the occupancy and departure stages. There are many interconnected stages which involves establishing relationships with the people at the hotel.

3.0 Technologies used in guest cycle

In the age of modern technologies, each stage of the guest cycle is heavily dependent on the advanced technologies. The hotel industry has identified the needs of integrating the technologies while serving the customers. The incorporation of technologies in each of the stages is explained below.

3.1 Pre-arrival stage

In this stage, the guest chooses a particular hotel and makes the reservation. Before that, the guest communicates with the hotel via phone or website and collects all the necessary information. In this step, the hotel needs to convince the guest to stay with them. Hence, the reservation process must be easy and the marketing should be attractive enough to draw the customers. The hotels are now launching their own websites with the best pictures and all necessary information regarding the hotel facilities and vacancies so that the guests can look into it without actually calling them (Radde, 2017).

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They are also collaborating with third party mobile apps, like,,, Expedia, and and publishing the booking information and images over there for the convenience of the customers (McIndoe, 2018). The hotels are also putting advertisements with the search engines, like, Google, to pull the customers. Apart from that, they are now actively using the social media, such as, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to attract the tech-savvy younger generation. This stage is the decision making stage for the guest. Hilton hotel’s HHonors program in the app allows the guests to choose the room as per their choice and other extras as per requirements, a day prior to their arrival (, 2018).

3.2 Arrival stage

This is the second stage in guest cycle. In this stage, the registration and room allotment are done directly at the hotel. Upon arrival at the location, a business relationship is established between the guest and the hotel. The front desk operator helps the guest to check in by verifying his ID with the personal information entered. This check-in process was conventional, but with the advanced technology in the market, the hotels are allowing the guests to check in by themselves by using digital key. This avoids the front desk hassle after a long day’s journey and the guests can check in by using their phones (Law et al., 2013). Apart from that, this technology also saves time while waiting in line at the reception upon arrival.

The hotels are utilizing the smartphone technology for offering a seamless experience to the guests. The tech-savvy millennials prefer such type of experiences. The apps also display a map for the way to the room. Starwood Hotels and Resorts chain started this new and innovative check in option few years back. Hilton hotels have started installing this facility in all their hotels (Lad, 2018). Almost all hotels now provide smart key card to unlock the doors, which has eliminated the traditional keys.

Another new technology was introduced by some hotels for key less experience. This is the retina and fingerprint scanning and fingerprint activated room entry systems. For example, Nine Zero Hotel in Boston has introduced retina scanning for entry to the presidential suite, which is more accurate and safe (, 2018).

3.3 Occupancy

Once the check in procedure is done, occupancy stage comes, where the guests stay at the hotel. During this time, the guests match their expectation with the reality. While staying at the hotel, the guests have to rely on the room service and concierge for any kind of requests, such as, housekeeping, ordering food and beverages, adjusting lights and air-conditioning or heating units and many other things. These are small things but they add into the personal experience of the guests. As the travel and tourism activities are growing rapidly, people are becoming more conscious regarding many such aspects in a hotel.

Hence, the hotels are also focusing on integrating in-room technology to stay ahead in the industry. In-room free Wi-Fi is already being provided for the past few years, which improves the stay for not only the business travelers but also for the leisure travelers. In 2016, the IoT (Internet of Things) technology started to make its way into the hotel industry (Terry, 2016). The industry is moving towards a phase where it can employ an assembly of connected devices for enhancing the quality of stay of the guests. An in-room iPad or tablet would be provided to control the temperature, lighting, television, refrigerator and any other electronic devices in the room. Concierge and room service would also be available on the iPad or tablet (Wang et al., 2016).

Assessment 1

Along with that, the hotels are also introducing many new technologies, such as, connecting the main switch with the key to reduce the power wastes and ensure the safety. The moment the guest locks the door and takes out the key; all the electronic devices are turned off. The lights of the lobby are turned on when a guest calls the elevator. The sensors are becoming stronger along with the artificial intelligence. The hotels now also offer POS terminals in the gifts and souvenir shops, which help the guests with easy shopping experience with card payments and adding the amount in the bills (Kleinrichert et al., 2012).

3.4 Departure

This is the last stage of the guest cycle. In this stage, the guests are given the bill for their stay in the hotel and using the services and all the accounting elements of the guest cycle get completed (Lin, Chiu & Huang, 2012). The guests return the room key, pays any amount which is due and sometimes, the hotels asks for providing feedback in a feedback form. With advanced technology in the market, when the guests check in using digital key, there is no question of returning the key.

The digital key gets deactivated when the duration of stay of the guest is over. The feedback can also be collected through online systems. This way, the check out process is becoming digital and saving a lot of time and hassle for the guests as well as for the hotel. Time spent on interaction with the employees is minimized and guest experience becomes better. The extra charges, which are incurred while availing the room service or accessing the mini-bar items in the rooms, the hotels will put the charge in the credit card of the guests, which will get add up to their credit card bill.

4.0 Recommendations

            Since, the technologies are getting advanced quite frequently and rapidly, and the guest expectations are growing as well as changing, the hotel and hospitality industry should consider of integrating more technologies in their offerings (Radde, 2017). That would help in making the customer experiences better and would make them revisit the hotel. At the same time, the new advancements in technologies should be aligned with the expectations of the customers to stay ahead in the competition. Hence, to capture new market and retain the existing market share, the technological advancements are mostly relevant. The hotel industry can think of incorporating technologies their activities in the following manner.

  • At the arrival stage, all the hotels, smaller or larger in size, should have a self-check in kiosk, similar to the airports, for easy check in and checkouts.
  • Guests always prefer personalized services and solutions to any issue. Hence, the hotels can introduce chatbots for all stages of guest cycle. Chatbots is an online feature where the guests can get quick answers to basic queries, such as, menu of the day, request for extra toiletries, extra towel or pillows, and car booking, or any helpline number (McIndoe, 2018). There will be automated responses, and will act as an important and personalized communication between the hotel and the guests. By introducing mobile apps, the guests will be able to operate the chat systems as per their convenience. This would increase the popularity of the hotels that provide this feature.
  • Robotics is going to be a new trend in the hotel industry. The robots can be beneficial for playing the role of virtual concierge or managing the helpdesk. The introduction of robots will bring the cost of regular activities and can also offer 24*7 service. The interaction between the guests and the robots would help the hotels to assist the hoteliers in analyzing the cognitive behavior pattern of the guest’s behavior.
  • Near Field Communication (NFC) technology can be introduced and used extensively by the hotels. This makes communication easier, such as, passing the digital keys for self check in and check out, faster and secure payments. This also helps in cross branding and increasing the offerings. A single NFC card can be updated multiple times. A hotel can team up with other service vendors, such as, restaurants, amusement parks, shops, etc. for providing a customized experience to the guests while they visit. NFC is effective in reducing costs and increasing opportunities to meet the customer needs.
  • Infrared sensors can help the guests to enjoy their stay more comfortably. The LED light can sense when any object is near. When any room is occupied, the sensor light will remain on, so that the housekeeping knows that the room is occupied or not, which would eliminate the door knocks for cleaning and minimize the disturbances.

5.0 Conclusion

            With the rapid advancement in technology, the hotel industry should incorporate quite a few new technologies to provide a better quality and personalized service to the guests. Launching a website, providing Wi-Fi and online payment facilities are not sufficient anymore to stay ahead in the market. In all the four stages of guest cycle, there are huge scopes for technological improvements, which the hotels should make research and identify and act accordingly to integrate.

In many ways, the hotel industry can introduce new technologies as well as upgrade the existing technologies for the purpose of improving the customer experiences. To stay ahead in the market, the hotels must focus on providing best quality personalized and faster services to the guests in each of the guest cycle stage, that is, pre-arrival, arrival, occupation and departure. It can be said from the trends that, the traditional hotel service and guest cycle would be redundant quite soon with customers wanting faster service and hotels that failing to provide that would not sustain. 

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Kleinrichert, D., Ergul, M., Johnson, C., & Uydaci, M. (2012). Boutique hotels: Technology, social media and green practices. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, 3(3), 211-225. DOI: 

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Terry, L. (2016). 6 Mega-Trends in Hotel Technology. Retrieved from 

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Wang, Y. S., Li, H. T., Li, C. R., & Zhang, D. Z. (2016). Factors affecting hotels’ adoption of mobile reservation systems: A technology-organization-environment framework. Tourism Management, 53, 163-172. DOI: