HIS unveils research report on guestroom entertainment trends

A new white paper explores how hoteliers can leverage new innovations to provide an updated stay experience that maximizes both guest satisfaction and property revenue. Photo credit: Hotel Internet Services

Hotel Internet Services released a comprehensive new white paper examining how mainstream technology, such as online streaming and voice-activated assistants, are having an effect on guest behavior and their evolving hotel stay expectations.

Leveraging data from a recent HIS survey conducted with both guests and hoteliers, the research demonstrates why such technology is lessening guest reliance on traditional hotel amenities, such as video-on-demand or guestroom telephones. The report also explores how hoteliers can leverage these new innovations to provide an updated stay experience that maximizes both guest satisfaction and property revenue.

The white paper, “Putting the Guest Back into Guestroom Entertainment,” reveals that more than half of today's guests prefer to stream their own content from subscriptions such as Hulu or Netflix, with many hoteliers eliminating their VOD services entirely. Also of note is the fact that a majority of guests would seek out a property with a guestroom entertainment platform that allows them to wirelessly cast content from personal devices onto larger guestroom television screens. To adept hospitality professionals, such a wide-ranging preference can serve to open up a valuable hotel-to-guest communications channel that is more aligned with contemporary demands for instant service and access to information.

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The white paper documents guest feedback that demonstrates the desire for an entertainment device that, in addition to casting, also allows access to details on available hotel amenities, along with the ability to connect with hotel departments and make requests for services such as in-room dining. While enhancing room revenue, hoteliers surveyed also indicated an ability for such features to streamline operations and reduce service wait times. Of priority to guests, however, is the need for such platforms to also be equipped with security and privacy features that safeguard personal information, such as usernames, passwords and browsing history.

“Impressive advancements in mainstream entertainment and communications technology have taken place during just the last decade, and as an industry that caters to mainstream consumers, the hospitality market must adapt in order to continue meeting guest expectations and earning their business,” HIS CEO Gary Patrick said in a  statement. “Yet while many hoteliers are aware that innovations such as content streaming and voice control are gaining in popularity, a sizeable number are still unaware of how such technology fits into the hospitality space. By analyzing detailed feedback from hotelier peers and guests, our latest white paper not only explains how and why these trends are affecting the industry, but also provides valuable insight into what hotels can actually do to incorporate streaming and voice control in a way that is affordable and that ultimately serves to enhance profitability.”

Although still a relatively new technology, virtual assistants and the ability to manage amenities using voice control have already gained considerable traction among guests, according to HIS research. The report notes that 60 percent of guests would be likely to use such a functionality, if made available. With guests again indicating a desire for a multifunctional solution, various features were ranked highly that should be included as a voice-activated service, including the ability to control in-room amenities, such as televisions, thermostats and lighting. Further strengthening the potential to increase in-room amenities is the fact that many also stressed the convenience-enhancing ability of virtual assistants when requesting additional hotel services.