Published on 02/13/2017
The Next Big Thing in Hospitality
IHG CEO Richard Solomon shares his thoughts
Richard Solomon is following former Starwood Hotels & Resorts CEO Frits van Paasschen's lead, who recently wrote an entire book about how digital technology has become the ultimate disruptor. All industries — hospitality included — should be paying close attention to, digital technology and learning from this disruptor on a continual basis. Richard Solomon explains what his thoughts are on our industry's Next Big Thing, and how his company is dealing with it.
As the consumer environment has changed through advances in technology, so too has the nature of the consumer. Needs may stay the same, but the way consumers expect them to be delivered by the different brands is rapidly evolving. The new traveler prefers to use technology to interact with hotels, airlines, and restaurants during their trips. Many of the technology-enabled services that we enjoy today were not available a few years back, which put a limit on how invisible a traveler could actually be. This is no longer the case.
One of the ways IHG is approaching this, is through the use of virtual reality as a design tool for new rooms, as well as a research tool for gathering guest insights to improve the guest experience. This gives consumers the control they seek to develop their ‘own’ brand product or experience but at the same time allows the brand to be in control by facilitating the experience and developing the new concept.
Technology will most definitely mold our near future. Our industry should learn not just how to deal with it, but how to innovate and play a big part in its future.
Partially adapted from Skift.com