Exploring the Thriving Harmony of Technology & Hospitality

Sudhir Sinha, Managing Director, U Hostels Headquartered in Haryana, U Hostels is an innovative travel accommodation company offering high quality accommodation at aesthetically designed urban structures along with a young & lively ambience and utmost hygiene standards to ensure a comfortable experience for every traveler.

“I am looking at the technology with the eyes of my customers, normal people’s eyes”, Jack Ma. Not long ago, somewhere around 1994-95, I was part of the largest travel companies in India. I am sure, as a traveller during that time you would recall that the airline tickets were like coupons having original tickets and its copies. No of coupons were one or more. You had to procure these physical tickets each time after several rounds of discussion with the travel agents and negotiations on discounts etc. During that time I read a very interesting article on technological transformation that was going to be a reality in future. It said the writer booked the ticket sitting on a computer, took the printout and went to the airport. He showed the ticket at the entry gate, did his security check and went on to do the boarding. He wrote during entire episode from the time of booking the tickets and being air-borne, he spoke for the first time when the air hostess asked him whether he wants tea of coffee!!!

The tourism and hospitality sector’s direct contribution to GDP in 2016, was $71.53 billion, ibef as the source. That seemed like a science fiction that time, but a reality today. I think if any industry that has seen most technological transformation with user touch points is undoubtedly the travel and hospitality industry.

At same breath, I must admit that there isn’t a single industry or domain that hasn’t been impacted with the radical implementation of technology in the modern day. Hospitality being a people centric sphere constantly strives to create unmatched experiences for the end users (the customers) and envisages interfaces that can offer a similar level of empathy and efficiency as human interaction. With the advancements of user friendly technology and applications, the domain has managed to explore several unfathomable aspects adding new dimensions to the service industry.

Coming of Age; How Technology Boomed into Our Lives
Gone are the days when manual intervention was the only possibility to augment the overall customer experience, in fact, by conjoining
technology into every day processes the turn- around time and ease of use have been positively impacted at different levels of operations across the industry.From the times when hotel bookings were restricted to odd telephone calls and old school travel agencies that worked on commissions, we have forayed into a realm of web based GDS systems and Street smart software that run around the clock and require little or no human intervention what so ever. These technologies have even made it possible to access the booking systems for Hotels/hostels situated across the seas and make a reservation with just a few clicks.

I think if any industry that has seen most technological transformation with user touch points, it is undoubtedly the travel & hospitality industry

The cumbrous booking files and customer records have been replaced by smart internet clouds features that facilitate information storage in copious quantities and quick access to the same. Technology has pervaded all critical aspects of the service industry, accommodating even the most fastidious preferences of the customers with in-built features such as multiple filters, payment options and much more.

Integrating Technology at Up market Hostel product
Up Market Hostel product is a first of its kind concept in the Indian sub-continent and being the pioneers of an unchartered territory, brings to us, the onus of setting unprecedented benchmarks that shall be looked up to, not just by any prospective contemporizes but also our global counterparts. Technology thereby plays an important role in ensuring a seamless and extraordinary experience for our guests, each time.

Our teams at work have animatedly and prudently worked towards Integrating intuitive yet ease to operate technology at various touch points to optimize our service offerings. Some of the vanguard features that Up Market Hostel strives to incorporate shall be, mobile device controlled guest rooms to allow guests to choose the room lighting, temperature among other things, an app based centrally synthesized reservation system across all Up Market Hostel units, Street Smart Software, digital keys to furnish remote check-in & check out from anywhere, state of the art reservation tracking system based on predictive analysis to forecast the bookings and a dedicated Up Market Hostel app for guests with elaborate information on offerings, events, deals and booking options for the same

Behold a Tech Steered Future
The hospitality industry has well recognized the need to be abreast with technological advancements, not just to upgrade their systems and cut down on manual labor but predominantly to offer an extraordinary guest experience that could also be a critical brand differentiator. With avantgarde features like voice activated rooms, biometric access and control systems, wearable technology and other sensors to carry out transactions, being incorporated by hospitality bigwigs, mergence of technology across the industry has become inevitable to step ahead of the game.

On the other hand, proliferated usage ofinternet based applications is being made to forecast multiple aspects such as the rise and fall in flight prices, the hotel stay costs, peak periods etc basis a smart predictive analysis, which has proven to be immensely beneficial for travelers. Aided with digital technology and social media, travelers now have access to expansive content pertaining to insights on cities across the globe, the hotel options, unbiased guest reviews, the local culture, the Do’s and Don’ts and much more. This has empowered the guests and helps them to make an informed choice each time.

The present is evolving each day by coalescing unconventional concepts and added capabilities to elevate the service standards and the current pace of change promises to sweep the industry with a wave of efficacies in the future too.