Given that studies have shown an increase in a hotel rating can correlate to an increase in the all-important average daily rate for a property,it’s no wonder why the hotel industry is trying to find ways to anticipate guests’ needs before they have time to bring it to the attention of hotel staff.
In a busy, bustling world, noise can be a problem for both hotel guests and hoteliers.
One company, Quietyme, has set out to reduce noise and cut down disturbances with the help of advanced technology.
Quietyme — founded in 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin — uses sensors to pick up the decibel levels of locations. Sensors can be placed in individual rooms and are connected via an electronic network. The sensors not only pick up the origin of high noise levels, but also indicate which particular rooms within a property are affected, based on each room’s decibel level. Reports are then sent to hotel staff either via mobile device or through the main hotel system.
Huey Zoroufy, COO of Quietyme, said the technology was originally designed for apartment managers, who used it to both monitor noise levels and curb property damage associated with high noise levels.
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“At the moment, the complications might be magnified for multi-brand, multi-property operators piloting more than one keyless system from more than one brand/vendor, but sources said that this somewhat disjointed approach may actually be preferable to a universal solution; at least until keyless tech is a little further along in its development cycle.”
As hotel companies across the industry begin to embrace keyless entry technology, they will also need to work out the challenges that go hand in hand with such integration.
Major conglomerates such as Hilton Worldwide Holdings and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide are continuing to conduct pilot testing across multiple properties and brands. Starwood is backing up the technology with a $15-million investment. After launching its SPG Keyless solution at select properties (Aloft Beijing; Aloft Cancun; Aloft Cupertino; Aloft Harlem; W Doha; W Hollywood; W Hong Kong; W New York-Downtown; W Singapore; and Element Times Square), the company is now installing SPG Keyless in 30,000 doors at all of its 150 global W, Aloft and Element hotels.
In the meantime, Hilton is pilot testing its own mobile-enabled room key technology at 10 U.S. properties. By year’s end, the company expects to offer the digital amenity at all U.S. properties of four brands: Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton. Looking ahead to 2016, Hilton will then deploy the technology at scale across 11 brands globally. Similar to the SPG Keyless solution, Hilton’s keyless entry platform is driven by the company’s branded mobile app. Hilton hopes the keyless system will drive usage of the app, which hoteliers can then use to drive incremental revenue through mobile devices. It’s a potentially major revenue source to sway hoteliers who might still be on the fence.
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“That’s particularly true when hoteliers begin marking their competitive differentiation on price—the average price of an Airbnb listing in NYC hovers slightly above $200/night and is well below the average cost of a hotel room in, say, Manhattan.”
“Is anyone worried about Airbnb?”
Nary a hand was raised when Mark Woodworth asked that question from the main stage at the Hunter Hotel Conference. The head of PKF Hospitality Research had to peer into the sea of some 1,200 attendees, hand above his squinted eyes like a sailor gazing into a foggy horizon, to find any. There were maybe five in all.
“Well, I’m going to talk about it anyway,” Woodworth said.
He was right to do so. The peer-to-peer accommodations platform is a threat to both demand and rate. We’ve documented that fact time and time again. Hoteliers just don’t want to hear it.
This dismissive attitude is based on the fact that it takes a lot of Airbnb supply to truly steal share. To reach that mass, Airbnb needs a strong concentration of willing hosts in high-demand markets such as New York City and San Francisco.
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