What is a hotel interview

Digitization in the hotel: Interview with Benjamin Köhler

plus

DUE TO THE CORONA CRISIS, THE DOMESTIC TOURISM INDUSTRY IGNOTED THE TURBO DUE TO DIGITALIZATION. THE NEW HYGIENE REGULATIONS AND THE DEMAND FROM GUESTS FOR SAFETY AND A CAREFULLY HOLIDAY DRIVE CONTACTLESS PROCESSES FORWARD. WE ARE AT THE SIDE OF OUR MEMBERS WITH HOGAST.DIGITAL AND A GROWING SELECTION OF SUPPLY PARTNERS. WE ASKED BENJAMIN KÖHLER ABOUT THE TECHNICAL UPGRADE POSSIBILITIES HOTELIANS HAVE. HE IS CHIEF SALES OFFICER OF BETTERSPACE, A LEADING COMPANY FOR THE DIGITIZATION OF HOTELS IN THE GERMAN-SPEAKING AREA.

MR. KÖHLER, DIGITIZATION IS PROGRESSING FAST. WHICH DIGITAL PROCESSES AND HELPERS DO HOTELIANS AND RESTAURANTS MOST INFORMED ABOUT?
Benjamin Köhler: At the moment, what is most needed is solutions that minimize contact and free the hotel staff from the bureaucratic hassle. In addition to contactless check-in and check-out and the digital registration form, this includes, above all, "bring your own device" solutions. These are hotel apps and other solutions for digital guest communication such as tablets or information displays.

WHAT DO CHECK-IN TERMINALS, HOTEL APP, TABLET AND CO. THE GUESTS IN POINT OF SECURITY?
It is clear that digital check-in and check-out help to meet current requirements such as minimum distance and avoidance of contact. In addition, guests and employees save a lot of time. The guests conveniently enter their data via their smartphone and sign digitally. The data is immediately sent to the PMS system via an interface and is saved in the registration form safe. After the retention period, the data will be automatically deleted. Payment and check-out can also be made contactless - for example via the guest directory on the in-room tablet, if a payment service provider is involved.

Photo: Betterspace

ARE THERE ANY OTHER WAYS TO CHECK IN AND OUT?
In addition to the app, there is the check-in terminal, which hotel guests can use to check in and check out. The terminal is a useful addition to the app, because not every guest wants to check in via their own smartphone or online. Another option is a reception tablet on which you can sign digitally. There is now a suitable solution for every guest and every type of accommodation, from inns to 5-star luxury resorts, to implement contactless check-in and check-out sensibly.

“CONTACTLESS” SEEMS TO BE A NEW MAGIC WORD. Are there any more advantages for hoteliers?
Of course there are many more advantages. On the one hand, digital check-in, check-out and registration form ensure more service, reduced waiting times, in short: faster and automated processes that greatly relieve the staff. On the other hand, communication with the guest does not stop during the entire guest journey. The contents of the digital guest directory can be updated with just a few clicks and sent to the guests in a personalized way via push message. That makes for more efficiency. In the current situation in particular, it is important to provide the guests with all the important information quickly. Incidentally, the tablet and app are of course great for promoting current services and offers. That can bring more sales.

WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND IN GENERAL TO HOTELIANS IN THE CURRENT SITUATION?
The most important thing is to find a solution that suits your home and guests. This is exactly why there are so many different solutions for a holistic and digital guest journey. You should also ensure that digital solutions for check-in, check-out, registration forms and guest communication include interfaces to external providers such as PMS systems, locking systems, POS systems, payment providers, etc. This is the only way to ultimately create a functioning digital infrastructure in the hotel.

*** *** ***

For further details and an individual offer at HOGAST conditions, please contact our HOGAST.DIGITAL contact person Adrian Bouchehri directly.

ADRIAN BOUCHEHRI
HOGAST.DIGITAL manager
T: +43 (0) 6246 8963 411
[email protected]

 

Cover picture: gettyimages13. October 2020