Knowcross Blog

Impact of COVID-19 on Hotel Technology

May 26, 2020 5:06:54 PM / by Karen O'Neill

For nearly the last 10 years, I have been lucky enough to be part of a lot of conversations about how the check-in process would evolve. People---Technologists, Hoteliers, Industry leaders said that the front desk was a dinosaur, technology needed to be created to better harness a mobile check in process, many travelers don’t want to be bothered to stop at a desk. Yes, customers will download an app so they can leverage mobile key and my personal favorite statement—your guests want the power of choice. You get the idea.  Oh, by people, I kinda meant me.

I watched as the industry pushed and discussed, new vendors appeared, adoption rates of self-check in peaked and flat lined.  Brands started to figure it out on their own but why wasn’t mobile check in truly getting adopted… fully as an industry standard?

Could be many reasons but what I know now with certainty is that the check in process is going to evolve with COVID-19 “new normal”. It has to.

It may not come to a world with no front desk but I know it will be a world leveraging technology and vendors who are ready to support this evolving initiative.  Who will have a strong hand it and what obstacles could they face?

PMS Vendors - The backbone of the hotel. Repository of data. That’s not changing right now. But---Can this pandemic force some of the larger players who scale so efficiently and have thousands of properties activated embrace mobility that some of the latest PMS vendors so swiftly manage?

Mobile Key Systems-Essential technology to harness a frictionless check in process. Everyone has a phone. We are all cognizant of the benefit of not continuing with a traditional key on the environment and now risks with COVID. Cost prohibitive to replace or retrofit locks? Don’t want to require an app download? How do we solve these?

Service Optimization-A critical part of check in process mapping. Keepers of the most up to date information on the room and guest. Shouldn’t these guardians of such data on housekeeping and room status, guest requests & preferences, cleanliness and now safety of the room be an integral part in the frictionless process and shouldn’t the adoption of such a system also increase to be an essential product to run a hotel? Health & Safety Guidelines no doubt also need to be part of this frictionless check in process. Guidelines are being released daily and will continue to be. Vendors, including Service Optimization like Knowcross will need to embrace & rely on these guidelines more effectively. 

This is why as an industry, we need to come together and make this happen… for the safety of everyone.

Learn more about frictionless checkin @ HTNG or tag #Knowcross if you have a question how we can help you during this unprecedented time.

Topics: Hospitality Technology, Hotel Operations, Knowcross, COVID-19, Hotel Industry

Karen O'Neill

Written by Karen O'Neill