Kickfin recently sponsored and attended HT-Next, a premiere hotel technology conference. Over four days in Miami, Kickfin co-founders Justin Roberts and Brian Hassan met with hospitality industry leaders, tech innovators, and top hotel operators to learn about key goals and concerns for 2023. Here are some of the key takeaways from the event.
Renewed Focus on Sustainability
Grant Romundt, co-founder of Ocean Builders, spoke to an industry trend that’s been building for a while (and isn’t slowing down): sustainability. Now more than ever, guests want to patronize businesses that share their core values and beliefs. Specifically, they’re choosing hotels based on how much those brands are doing to protect the environment, especially in beautiful, tropical locations.
Ocean Builders is aiming to do just that by building high-tech eco-restorative floating homes that provide guests with a one-of-a-kind experience while also preserving the ecosystem to serve guests for generations to come.
Expanding the Guest Experience
The hospitality experience you create isn’t limited to the four walls of your hotel. Instead, it extends to every aspect of your guest’s stay, including the activities they do while they’re away from the hotel. With that in mind, HT-Next partnered with Mobi to explore the possibilities of hyper-personalized guest experiences built by AI.
AI now offers you the opportunity to build the perfect trip for each individual guest. Using guest data and your knowledge of the area around your hotel, you can build AIs that will plan a personalized suggested itinerary for your guests, taking hospitality to the next level.
Bouncing Back from Covid
Most of us might feel like things are “back to normal,” but some hotels are still feeling the strain of the Covid-19 pandemic. And they’re turning to tech to bring them back to life.
A panel of Miami hotel general managers shared how they stayed afloat during the height of the pandemic, how the travel and hospitality industries are bouncing back, and how tech has quickly become a huge part of their daily operations.
Solving Labor Shortage Concerns
Labor continues to be a point of contention in hospitality. Questions about how to attract new hires and how to retain the employees you have continue to vex hoteliers in this tight labor market. The answer isn’t as simple as raising wages (although that doesn’t hurt). Instead, industry leaders are looking to technology to help create better work environments and more streamlined processes to get things done, even at sub-optimal staffing levels.
At Kickfin, our goal is to provide hotel staff with more opportunities to earn tips through digital tipping software — allowing for guests to tip more often in an increasingly cashless society. We also simplify the tip payment process so employees have access to their earnings faster (a major selling point for potential hires).
Our main takeaway: Hotel technology isn’t going anywhere. Expect to see more automated hotel operations, better uses of guest data, and sky-high guest experience expectations.