Smart Hospitality transforming South Africa’s hospitality industry. (Image source: File)
Millennials are upwardly mobile, they are wired into the world around them with the newest technology, they expect connectivity options to cater to their every need and they demand control of every aspect of their lives. Millennials, also known as Generation Y, enjoy travelling and by the year 2020, it is expected that half of all tourists will be millennials.
However, not only millennials are filling hotel rooms at South Africa’s prime holiday destinations. International tourists are also flocking to the mountains, beaches and game reserves of the beautiful expanse that is South Africa.
According to the South African Strategic Research Unit, a total of 1,144,088 international tourists arrived in the country between January and May this year, up 10.6% from the same period last year. These tourists are well travelled and expect to have the same level of electronic comfort they are accustomed to at home in Europe, North America and the Far East.
Traditionally hotels focussed on personal customer service and luxury, but the scene is changing. It is evolving to become an experience in technological advancement with various online and automated services to choose from, rather than only a place to stay. In the past, internet access was available at a price, today wi-fi is considered a human right and is expected, especially by millennials. Generation Y will soon be the main demographic for hotels and it is important to get a head start in understanding their expectations.
“Samsung is collaborating with hotels to transform premier businesses into Smart Hospitality hubs where guests can walk into a lobby and a video wall informs them of local attractions and must-do activities in the area,” says Richard Chetty, Samsung South Africa Director of Services. A self-service kiosk will allow visitors to search hotel guides and top restaurants using an interactive touchscreen.
No time will be spent on hotel staff attempting to find your booking, taking your card and eventually providing you with a key card. Smart Check-in will allow visitors to receive check-in information on their mobile devices, which will also be used to open their room doors. In their comfortable, connected rooms, a smart device is used to change the air temperature, select a television channel and turn on the lights.
The business area of the hotel will have a convenient and practical Samsung E-board with touchscreen display and a Cloud Printer which can process documents from any device with easy, automatic installation. Business operations will be uncomplicated and efficient, using WLAN with AirEqualiser and, offering uninterrupted, seamless wireless connectivity.
Dining in a Smart Hospitality hub restaurant will be simple and convenient with the use of mobile devices available to place meal orders and make payments from, while video walls are met to provide patrons with jaw-droopingly vibrant entertainment.
Staff will also operate more effectively as they will be trained in the use of smart devices, from maintenance and room service, to management and back office operations. With operations more streamlined, organisations will be able to live track exactly what is being done where in their building and staff will be optimally dispatched.
“Home is where the Wi-Fi connects automatically, and in this case, it will be your favourite smart hotel. Samsung and Smart Hospitality hubs are set to blend comfort with an exceptional sensory experience, keeping you comfortably connected while you travel,” concludes Chetty.
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