Hoteliers increase investment in enhancing guest experience


DUBAI, UAE – You will see an increase in Information Technology (IT) spending within the hospitality industry, with guest experience cited as the top driver for investment. A recent Motorola Solutions, Inc. study has uncovered fifty-six percent of hospitality organisations planned to raise mobile investments to better equip their workforces, improve operational efficiencies and ultimately enhance the customer experience.

The Motorola Solutions 2011 Hospitality Market Barometer reveals that 91 percent of hospitality decision makers realise the increasing importance of mobile and wireless technology, while 78 percent recognise the role mobility plays in ensuring a competitive advantage for their business. As a result, hospitality venues are investing in new technology, as well as powerful wireless networks to handle greater data volumes and increasing demands for high-speed access from the customer and mobile workforce.

One of the critical challenges for hotel technology managers is convincing upper management to approve investing in the latest technology.

Radi Karnib, Director of Information Technology Projectsat Rotana Hotel Management comments, “It is a challenge to demonstrate that the proposed technology infrastructure will indirectly reflect into a benefit to our business and will keep us up to date with the technology trends and market competition.”

In order to overcome this challenge, Radi has proven methods for successfully presenting the business case for new technology procurement to senior management including: “Presentation of the added value functions and services for any new technology product procurement … Demonstrating a proper case study using the senior management terms … Financial analysis, showing a complete financial study listing the cost versus functions for the IT project”

Daniel Hajjar, CEO of Layia Hospitality agrees adding, “It is (the IT) a department that evolves on a daily basis and you owe it to your organisation to consider any “new” development … IT experts must always make a clear differentiation between an investment and an expense.”

Both agree that iPad and mobile applications will be the technology priorities moving into 2012.

“Smart phones will definitely be the top priority in my opinion,” Daniel Hajjar said.

The solutions associated with the challenges of enhancing the guest experience and presenting a business case to senior management will be discussed by hospitality experts including Daniel Hajjar and Radi Karnib at the 3rd Annual Hotel Technology Middle East exhibition and conference in September. Current exhibitors include: Sony, Jumbo, Mitel, VingCard and Aegis Tech.