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Samsung taps into hotel trends

Travellers are very particular about checking into a hotel. They have numerous preferences, making it difficult for hotels to cater for each person’s needs. Samsung is however launching a range of technology solutions to help the hospitality industry keep up with these needs.

The hospitality industry is under constant pressure to adapt to rapidly changing economic, social and technology climates in order to deliver the highest levels of service to a mercurial market. Trends dominating the 2014 landscape for this industry are not hard to interpret – the millenials are travelling and they demand technology, speed, efficiency, service and experiences.

The modern traveller is prepared to become a fiercely loyal customer, but they are quick to catch mistakes and are put off by mediocre quality and service,” says Mike Van Lier, Divisional Head of Enterprise Business Team (EBT) at Samsung Electronics SA. “Recent research has shown that the new generation of consumers want speed and their needs attended to. They will speak out if none of this happens over the course of their stay.

The IBM Hotel 2020 Hospitality Paradox Study showed that while 68% of travellers see little or no difference between various hotel chains, they will pay a 10% premium to stay in their favourite hotel. This means that good business is differentiating your venue from the one next door.

The hospitality industry has to allow for seamless booking, checking in or out, connectivity and variety. On top of increasingly strict grading regulations, they are facing a wall of critics in the form of Twitter, Facebook, TripAdvisor and more. The TV may be too small, the Wi-Fi too costly or patchy, or the check in processes can be a tedious exercise.

The evolution of technology and social media means that customers are well informed about the features and qualities of any given destination. They select a hotel, entertainment and holiday destination based on reviews and social recommendations. In order to keep up with this rapidly changing market, venues need to invest in an infrastructure that can deliver personalised services, seamless communications and standardised operations,” says Van Lier.

There are offerings that have been developed in line with these market trends, such as the Samsung Smart Hospitality range that gives guests greater control over their stay, from checking in and out, as well as the ability to personalise and customise their experience. This technology is more than just a cluster of devices: it is a complete hospitality ecosystem.

The Samsung Smart Hospitality range was built to deliver on three essential promises – to improve the guest experience, capture the attention of empowered customers and streamline hospitality operations,” says Van Lier. “We have cutting edge hospitality TVs, LCDs, mobile solutions, printers and devices that work seamlessly together to deliver on these three pillars.

Locations that take advantage of technology can interact with these customers with a better understanding, using the gathered data to increase the number of customer touch points. The information generated can then be used to further personalise and fine-tune customer service and interaction, thereby boosting brand affinity and gaining a better understanding of the target market.

Already in possession of significant global contracts such as the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Armani Hotel in Dubai, Samsung is also bringing its brand of hospitality technology to South Africa.

We will be showcasing our range at Hostex 2014 in Cape Town this year and will be demonstrating how it can revolutionise the way in which hospitality environments cater to their guests,” says Van Lier. “Samsung’s Smart Hospitality range allows customers far more control over how they interact with technology while staying over, as well as allowing for the hotel to build their brand by transforming and personalising the customer’s experience.

The array of solutions on offer from Samsung can also be integrated into the overall working of the site so employees are given greater mobility and can work more efficiently, thereby streamlining hospitality operations. Samsung’s products are among the most cost-effective on the market, as they are energy efficient, easily adapted to work within existing infrastructure and boast centralised system management features. Better functionality, lower total cost of ownership and improved operations come as standard with the Samsung hospitality range.

The hospitality industry requires that its technology investments are built for the long term, capable of handling extensive usage while also delivering on the very latest in convenience and features,” says Van Lier. “Tourism in South Africa has seen remarkable growth and development as the emerging middle-class and slowly reviving economy kick-start the travel market. We have been paying attention to these trends and have created offerings in our Samsung Smart Hospitality range that improve the interaction between guest and venue and help both to get the most out of the experience.

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