HIS: Guests want casting, virtual assistants in guestrooms

Hotel Internet Services has released the full results of its latest survey analyzing how in-room entertainment and technology expectations have continued to increase and how such trends mirror the growing prevalence and reliance on newer technologies in daily consumer life.  

Developed with the responses from more than 700 guests and 200 hoteliers, HIS’ 2020 survey findings suggest that  guests are seeking advanced in-room services and amenities such as content casting and voice-activated functionality.

Notably, travelers now expect to connect their personal devices to a hotel’s Wi-Fi service. While 45 percent of guest respondents indicated that they travel with at least two devices, more than a quarter disclosed that they now travel with three, and almost 10 percent stated that they bring at least four. These findings—combined with guests seeking to remain in guestrooms due to COVID-19 risks while attempting to keep themselves occupied—will undoubtedly place a strain on existing hotel networks, with many likely needing to update their Wi-FI abilities in order to maintain a satisfactory experience.

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Entertainment

Just as significant is the survey’s findings over what guests—now familiar with the multiple advantages of connectivity—now look for from their in-room stay experience. With the mass adoption of streaming services and at-home casting technology by consumers, travelers increasingly want to cast personal content from devices to guestroom televisions, with 67 percent of 2020 respondents seeking the feature. 

More importantly, half of guest respondents now indicate that the availability of wireless casting could affect their booking decision, while only 26 percent of hotelier respondents reported being currently able to offer the functionality. HIS emphasized the need for hoteliers to adopt comprehensive in-room entertainment services that are compatible with the ever-expanding range of third-party applications in order to offer a high-quality and personalized guest experience.      

Virtual Assistants

With virtual assistant and voice technology representing one of the fastest-growing technologies according to TechCrunch, another significant finding by the 2020 survey report is an increasing preference by guests for the feature to be made more widely available. A full 61 percent of surveyed guests in fact said they would likely use the technology if present in a guestroom, with 68 percent indicating that they would use voice to control in-room amenities such as thermostats and lighting. 

A sizeable number of respondents further indicated that they would use virtual assistants to request amenities or hotel information, enabling the ability to provide swift service for hotels operating with limited staff resources while reducing any health risks from direct physical contact. 

“With much of the industry continuing to remain uncertain over how the current crisis will affect guest behaviors and expectations, it is more essential than ever to receive feedback from guests themselves so as to implement the kind of experiences that will ensure their return and ultimate satisfaction,” said Gary Patrick, CEO of Hotel Internet Services. “Our newest survey findings importantly reveal that while guests may have once looked to hotel amenities for inspiration on how to improve daily home life, they now continue to increasingly expect hotel services to adopt the same heightened level of instant convenience and customization that consumer-based technology can provide. Taking these findings into consideration is especially important as a result of COVID-19 due to the ability of such technologies to not only enhance personalized guest experiences, but to also maximize operational efficiency along with social distancing and contactless abilities.”