The expectations of hotel guests have changed radically in recent years. Having a comfortable place to stay is no longer enough. Today, the digitally-connected traveler wants a hotel room that lets them stay connected from the moment they arrive, while also enjoying the same technology they use at home.
Even if your guests are just using your hotel room as a base to lay their head, the time they spend relaxing will invariably involve watching TV, listening to music & lots of time on the net.
This reliance on personal technology and a surge in the popularity of on-demand entertainment are both transforming what guests want and expect from a hotel room.
How have things changed?
I know I am showing my age here, but when I started in hotels we offered guests two movies which ran on a scheduled basis throughout the day.
From memory, each movie ran 4 times. The movies were delivered via VCR which was controlled by a VIC-20 computer.
We then went to on-demand movies which guests paid for and this generated great revenue in the day.
Today, thanks to streaming services such as Netflix, guests arrive at your hotel with access to more entertainment than you could ever possibly provide. I have started to see a number of passengers on flights viewing their own content rather than relying on what the airline offers. Things have certainly changed.
As the world quarantined at home during the height of the pandemic, the popularity of streaming services skyrocketed. A recent survey by Forbes identified that 78% of all U.S. households subscribe to at least one or more streaming services
So if guests have all the content what do they need from you when staying?
Firstly amazing internet is a must. The other thing is a good-sized TV. Because a guest would much prefer to watch their own content on the 50”+ TV in the room, rather than their phone screen. If you need to improve your WiFi, please reach out and we can introduce you to one of our trusted partners.
How do you allow guests to view their own content on your TV simply and securely?
There are essentially three ways to allow guests to view their own content on your TV:
1. Consumer TV with streaming Apps such as Netflix installed.
Here guests would log in using their own account details. There are a couple of issues with this option. Not many guests would know their streaming account login details off the top of their heads. If they do it’s fiddly to sign in with a standard TV remote. The main issue is security as the guests’ details are stored on the TV. The guest needs to log out when they check out which they generally won’t do. We feel duty-bound to say that we do NOT recommend this solution. The security issues can be quite serious, apparently, some people think it’s hilarious to intentionally cast porn into someone else’s room – who knew?
2. A hospitality TV that has casting built-in
The Philips MediaSite TVs are the “go-to” for this type of solution. Here the guest doesn’t need to log into the TV. They use their own device, and they scan a QR code to create a secure connection between their device and the TV.
This TV also reset the TV on check-out removing guest details and also resetting the TV back to the standard defined by the hotel. This overcomes the issue of a guest adding apps to the TV during their stay.
Yes, we do recommend these and can help you if you would like to upgrade your TVs and offer casting to your guests. Call us on 1300 503 657
3. The third option is to install a hospitality-designed casting solution
There are a number of providers that offer this solution. Here the provider uses networking equipment to secure the casting solution. This ensures that a guest is only able to see and cast to the device in their room. They also provide statistics and support, etc. There is a capital outlay for the equipment and an ongoing monthly fee per room for the support and maintenance and licensing of the solution.
We are familiar with all the options and are happy to share our knowledge and introduce you to a trusted partner who will be able to assist you further. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moving forward, it seems that in-room entertainment is almost certainly going to revolve around the hotel TV. As internet-enabled Smart TVs become prevalent in the home, guests will arrive expecting to stream their favourite Netflix, Stan, or Amazon Prime show on the hotel room TV.
We live in an era where guests’ own personal device offers more than we can provide as Hoteliers.
They also want a home away from home experience. Proving your guests with a casting solution achieves that as it gives them the ability to choose what they want to watch or play, and when they want to watch it on your in-room TV.
Need help considering or selecting the best technology for your Hotel and guests? Technology 4 Hotels can save you time and hassle, and help you increase your revenue. If you have feedback on this article or would like to connect, please get in touch via phone at +61 2 8317 4000, or book a time for a complimentary 15-minute Tech Chat, just click here.