Did you know that the growing Alpha generation, a generation more than familiar with using smartphones right from the cradle, tends to travel about three times a year on average? Previously, when there were no such hospitality services available like Booking.com, for instance, one could only dream about affordable travel opportunities.
Nowadays, traveling has become a lifestyle for many and a keen hobby for others. This is possible due, in part, to mobile applications (e.g., those that provide a wide range of profitable last-minute hotel deals) and other software solutions that serve as trusty virtual guides anywhere in the world. In this article, the focus is a few tech niceties that will be changing the world of hospitality and travel software in the very near future. It might even give you ideas on developing your own hospitality app.
Types of Software for the Hospitality Industry
For starters, let’s figure out what kinds of apps can be implemented through a hospitality app development system:
- Personal assistant – Such apps provide hotel guests with self-serving capabilities as well as minimize the need for live communication with service personnel. If you are interested in how it looks in practice, take a look at the capabilities provided by VirtualHotel.
- Hotel booking application -. The most common type of apps in the field of hospitality. These help users find the best offer in the area and book a hotel room with only a few clicks. A particular example of such solutions is Hotels.com.
- Revenue management app – This type of software is basically your handy expense calculator. The most thought-out development companies tend to launch complex solutions, such as the KittySplit mobile app, which helps to manage debts.
- Food and catering app -. Regardless of how great of a hotel you have that provides all-inclusive services, travelers still take great interest in the local cuisine. Applications like Yelp help travelers find available restaurant options and book a cozy table.
- Controller-app – This type of mobile software may help manage smart home systems within hotel rooms. The most commonplace example here is stayConnect (a regular TV remote controller made as a mobile app).
- Car/taxi booking app – When you’re in an unfamiliar town in a foreign country, it may be a challenge to find a good taxi service. Have a look at Uber or similar car-booking apps that open up a world of rides.
- Property management systems – Such tools come in handy for those planning to rent a place (which, by the way, can be much more cost-efficient than booking a hotel room, especially, in the long run). For example, there’s the Guesty service.
- Boat booking platform – Yet another useful kind of software that will certainly serve fans of water activities and sports quite well. Boataround offers a wide range of functionality.
The Top 10 Features of Hospitality App Development
Take a look and find out which hospitality industry trends will be common in the years to come.
- Electronic key card – It is mainstream to make check-ins and check-outs as convenient as possible. Electronic key cards hit it big time. Currently, every other user can single-handedly book a room, get to the hotel, and open the door with a key card generated in the specialized hotel mobile app. From the technical perspective, NFC or QR code scanning come in handy here.
- Voice assistants – Virtual voice assistants have covered practically every existing business niche since the impeccable success of Siri. The hotel business and, in particular, hospitality app development solutions aren’t an exception. Thus, hotel voice assistants make hotel stays as convenient as possible. Let software take care of setting an alarm clock, handling air-conditioning, and doing other tasks – for your users’ comfort.
- Augmented reality (AR) – Pokemon Go made AR popular worldwide. Going way beyond the entertainment industry, augmented reality helps increase customer satisfaction in hospitality with advanced personal assistant solutions.
- Blockchain – Considering the fact that the blockchain acquired most of its popularity due to bitcoin, the technology as a whole has an ambiguous reputation (cryptocurrencies continue to rapidly fall in price and there are loads of scam projects with blockchain at the core). Nevertheless, the technology itself is pretty viable. Moreover, its potential can be fruitfully fulfilled in terms of the travel agencies’ workflow. In particular, with the help of a blockchain-based platform, you’ll secure your customers’ transactions, eliminating additional verifications along with the respective time expenses.
- Autonomous shipping – Drones are not mere hi-tech toys. They provide cheap and rapid shipping (for food and drinks, for instance). With autonomous shipping options, hotels receive a cost-efficient way to service guests while also avoiding many human-caused risks. Not only can such automated devices perform staff duties, they can also become an attractive feature of the establishment.
- Smart rooms – IoT takes the hospitality industry to a new level of service. In the US and EU, there are modernized hotels using all the benefits of smart home. In terms of travel application development, we can clearly see that in the years ahead, the industry of travel and tourism won’t be able to avoid the custom solution of remote control via smartphone (something similar was already created by the developers of the Mi Remote Controller, a device only compatible with TVs).
- Geolocation – This feature helps users to easily locate lodging options in the area. This is very beneficial for travel mobile app development, allowing users to effortlessly find a place to stay nearby. Couchsurfing apps are gaining traction as budget tourism is becoming trendy right now.
- Mobile eCommerce solutions – Hotel booking app development creates time-efficient and effort-saving experiences. You can go for hospitality-related mobile commerce and create a vacation rental app that would cover both the hotel reservation and payment.
- SIP-DECT – Now, this is a solution that doesn’t wholly belong to the field of hospitality app development. However, the technology can come in handy both for hotel guests and personnel. It basically provides the ability to move throughout the territory of the hotel using the radio phone of the DECT standard. SIP-DECT implies the availability of several basic stations. It is roaming-based and allows guests to stay in contact with the guide at all times. Plus, it’s an excellent alternative to stationary phones in rooms.
- Integration with social networks & public opinion – People have always trusted social proofs over empty company promises and this goes well for the hotel industry, too (91% of 18-34-year-old users tend to trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations). Travelers take a close look at hospitality app reviews before booking, which is precisely why solutions of travel portal development call for feedback, ratings, and social media sharing. Note that both complaints and suggestions are on.
Hospitality and Travel Software Development: Summary
As you can see, the hotel and accommodation industry is ripe for sweeping digitization. Take advantage of the ten mentioned features and add your own ideas about how to develop a travel management software solution that end-users would fall in love with. If you have any questions, we’d be glad to offer our expertise and experience in this niche.