The benefits of upgrading in-room technology.
In recent years, a boom in smart home appliances has allowed everything from lighting to security to be controlled with connected devices. According to 2015 State of the Smart Home, a report by home-solution company iControl Networks, nearly 50 percent of North Americans were likely to purchase a smart home device within a year. Resort operators may want to consider incorporating these advances into their amenities, to impress guests and improve efficiency.
“If guests have it at home, they’ll want it in their hotel room,” says David Sjolander, chief operating officer of Hotel Technology Next Generation, an association for hotel IT executives. However, although guests may be willing to accept a learning curve at home, they’re unlikely to warm to devices that are too complicated on vacation, so consider the experience carefully and opt for intuitive technology.
Another way to improve the experience is to employ technology that works behind the scenes. “The ultimate solution is a device that functions without guests being aware of it,” Sjolander says. For example, smart light bulbs that report they need to be changed before they blow out are a seamless way to improve a guest’s stay.
Though smart appliances may come with high up-front costs, they can pay off in the long run through operational and energy savings. Since improving guest experience can be difficult to translate into direct revenue, Sjolander recommends that before purchasing, owners calculate how long it will take for a new environmental-control system to pay for itself and then to begin saving money by lowering utility costs. Resorts that do the math and account for owners’ needs are likely to enjoy the greatest benefits of upgrades.
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