Welcome to 2015, when digital era reached Hospitality Industry menacing all that until then was considered “normal”.
The technology enables guests to bypass the check-in desk in the lobby and go straight to their hotel rooms, which they will be able to unlock by holding their mobile device in front of a sensor.
I found an article on LinkedIn, in where we explain how new Hilton Worldwide’s digital applications for laptops and smartphones are changing some basics of the Hospitality Industry.
Everyone may have his/her own opinion about introducing automatic check in & check out process. I would like to present 5 reasons that make me think it is an advantage, and 5 reasons why I don’t like the idea.
The advantages of the future
– Machines are not open to negotiation. Any exception will be accepted by a machine whatever the situation of the guest.
– Machines are fast, whether they have too much work whether they have an easy day.
– Machines are quick, when solving different daily routine’s trouble.
– Machines are never tired, it does not matter if they have worked for hours and hours; they will not make mistakes due to tiredness.
– Machines are easily customizable in different languages; they do not need years of experience to become bilingual.
The dangers of the future
– The idea of crossing anybody at the hotel lobby is the opposite of what we learned in Hospitality Industry. High quality employees are taught to be there always that guests need something; our presence should not disturb guests.
– Guest entering a hotel room without being seen by someone is the opposite of what we are told when talking about basics in hotel security.
– Aged people may find it difficult to manage these brand new technologies.
– The investment needed for installing automatic machines seems to be quite high and expensive, may be not affordable by every type of hotel.
– Machines are not able to develop any empathy, whatever the situation of the guest is when arriving or leaving the hotel.
I would like to invite those developers and general managers to have a walk around a hotel lobby and discover what takes place down there; may they discover that people is still important in this industry; may they realize that the majority of guests, still do like be welcomed by people at the hotel front desk after a long day surrounded by those super-performance airport machines.
People serving people; this is what I understand it is Hospitality Industry, and this what I was taught at Les Roches Marbella during my PostGraduate in Hospitality Management. It is a philosophy and a way of conceiving this Industry that should not be lost.
My conclusion is that automatic check in & check out machines will suppose the end of Hospitality. We may call it as we like if we finally decide to massively install these new check in & check out systems; but it will not be hospitality anymore. No, if nobody is on the other side of the desk.
Javier Guijarro Segado