IT service

Hospitality technology in Australia – exploring the latest IT trends

Updating the WiFi network infrastructure

Hotel guests today often use tablets, phones, and computers while on the road and consider WiFi an essential feature when they check-in at a hotel.

When they book their stay, hotel guests expect seamless internet access without interruption, prompting hotels to upgrade their WiFi infrastructure to do business and use technology devices without interruptions.

Hotels are adopting a more sophisticated model of paying for accommodation. Internet access was once only available to the wealthy, as hotels could charge exorbitant rates.

Hotel groups have started installing and maintaining hotel-wide wireless networks to meet the growing expectations of guests (not only for their guests but also for guests attending their meetings and functions at the hotel).

Many hotels are re-thinking their current infrastructures and pricing models due to the lack of financial feasibility of abandoning the user-pay model altogether.

Conference rooms with digital technology

Hotels should also provide conference and meeting facilities, such as audiovisual (AV) and digital technologies, in addition to a high-density WiFi network. A typical conference room has a limited number of AV and digital devices, but stagers are often hired to provide various services, including equipping the facilities as required.

Creating easily accessible, concealed pathways in the ceilings and flooring that can accommodate adequate power and data connectivity is crucial for designing conference facilities that accommodate this type of technology. Hotels with extensive conference facilities must ensure indoor mobile phone coverage, internet protocol television (IPTV), real-time location services (RTLS) and VoIP connectivity, in addition to handling all the accompanying AV and digital equipment.

Communications and automation through mobile devices

People expect hotel check-ins to be the same kind of simple, technology-driven, no-lines experience they get at airports. Rather than standing in queues and having to move around the hotel to order food, guests want to be able to check-in at an automated kiosk and order room service using a digital device.

Thanks to digital innovation and social media, the hotel guest also expects personalised digital interactions.

Hotels develop digital products and services that serve their guests, such as digital check-ins, restaurant ordering, and room service. It will enhance their guests’ experience by displaying their names at the front desk or displaying their food preferences through the digital ordering system.

Moreover, the concierge in your pocket concept is fast gaining popularity due to its capability of providing operators with helpful information such as the location of nearby entertainment venues, healthcare facilities, and other amenities.

With a check-in or concierge app, hospitality industry staff can focus on service. At the same time, property developers do not have to construct sizeable static reception desks at every entrance and location. Investing in such an app requires a small initial investment, allowing for greater efficiencies and savings.

Technology that uses NFC

Nowadays, virtually every smartphone is equipped with near field communications (NFC) capable of exchanging data among several devices within a short range.

Despite NFC’s fast transfer rate, connected devices cannot communicate at the same speed. However, they share immediately when two NFC devices touch, making mobile payments (by touching the smartphone to a credit card) a safe and secure process. Smart room keys are another application for this technology, including self-check-ins by hotel guests.

NFC technology can help hotels and resorts personalise customers’ experiences by making payments more manageable and granting easy access to hotel rooms. Ads can, for instance, be targeted towards a child walking in the lobby or an advertisement changed to promote a theme park or the hotel’s kids club). The technology gets used to tracking loyalty points from a guest’s use of conference facilities or room service.

Personalised hotel experiences have now become a reality for many establishments.

Cloud services

Due to hotel chains investing in cloud services, hotels can entertain demand and mobile content. Cloud computing is ideal for hotels, which want to offer digital content but cannot afford the costs of IT staff or infrastructure.

Besides the fact that the initial investment is smaller than for IT infrastructure and servers, it allows hotels to adjust and expand their IT needs with their business growth without overhauling their entire IT system. As a result, personnel can focus on more critical tasks. In the future, hotel groups will replace their legacy IT infrastructure with cloud-based systems.

A seamless, integrated experience

Customers can experience technology in many ways, not just online or through devices, check-ins and online comments. This experience needs to be integrated and dynamic to put the guest’s experience at the centre of marketing and advertising.

A team’s mind on operations. Taking the time to acknowledge comments left by guests when they go to the hotel is essential. For example, when guests leave comments about their stay, the hotel staff should respond and acknowledge this communication.

Hopefully, the hotel has processes for following up when an in-house guest complains about not stream mobile content while staying.
Creating memorable experiences can be a way to change and grow the hospitality industry. These technology trends give marketing, management, and hotel developers the tools and solutions they need to create them.

Taking the hospitality business DIGITAL

In today’s technological world, almost everyone holds a smartphone. Hotel developers must be aware that most people who check-in at a hotel, resort or lodge will also have one.
Several companies in the hospitality industry are already using social media to gain an edge over their competitors, such as location-based apps, social bookmarking and sharing holiday photos on Instagram and Facebook.

As this trend continues, hotels can expect to see increasing engagement on social media from guests who comment, complain, and praise the hotel they stay at. Staff at hotels should be on hand to provide feedback and to answer questions and complaints in real-time.

Hotel managers and marketers need to be proactive when it comes to managing online reputation.

Consumers do not decide where to visit or where to stay by themselves — they use social media and community-developed content to determine where to travel, where to stay, and for what leisure activity.

In response to this shift, many hotel and leisure groups have developed active social media monitoring and communication strategies to stay abreast of what is being said about them online and ensure that both marketing and operations staff deal with online feedback.

Using technology in this space is also another way operators can take full advantage of it by communicating. For example, real-time reports on electricity and water usage can show how well they are doing with their environmental initiatives.

Is the Hospitality Sector Needing Cybersecurity Investments?

Increasingly, hospitality companies use the Internet and electronic devices to conduct their business daily. Customers can do everything from order a hotel room to paying for it using a smartphone. An e-voucher is sent, a booking is confirmed through the Internet, or details about a booking are shared. A hospitality business’ front end includes financial management and customer service. Effective cybersecurity is essential to the hospitality sector.

In addition to being convenient, it also poses vulnerabilities. When you are online, you are susceptible to cyberattacks. Security is a priority for our cybersecurity team in Perth. You can make sure you are protected by knowing what it takes to deal with the threats.

What attracts cybercriminals to hospitality businesses?

  • This organisation collects and manages sensitive information, such as passport information, travel itineraries, credit card information, and more.
  • The hospitality industry has a large geographical spread, making it a key target for cyber-criminals. Additionally, the industry has a comprehensive database of individuals that may be helpful throughout the world.
  • Cybercriminals often target the information of executives and wealthy individuals who use them to conduct financial transactions.
  • Databases contain personally identifiable information (PII) about customers and software and third-party vendor access.

Hackers penetrate the hospitality network system in what ways?

Hackers can infiltrate hospitality networks through a variety of entry points. Business owners must be aware of cybercriminals’ potential entry points into their systems.

  • Endpoints such as WiFi networks, IoT devices, electronic door locks, alarm systems, and others become common entry points for hackers.
  • Third-party vendors in the hospitality sector provide services like maintenance, payroll, and many others. It makes them easy targets for hackers.
  • The seasonal nature of the hospitality industry causes hospitality facilities to have high levels of staff turnover. Hence, many employees are not knowledgeable about cybersecurity practices.
  • Hacking into a single regional hotel’s network gives attackers access to the whole centralised system, and with a dispersed network, it gets even more difficult to ensure safety.
  • Brand impersonations are common in the tourism industry. Hackers use the site to target customers with phishing schemes and other scams.

There has been an increasing number of data breaches targeting the hospitality industry in the past few years, many of which affected large brands in this sector. The hospitality industry needs to go the extra mile to secure its network against these growing threats.

Hospitality cyber-threats commonly encountered.

The proper cybersecurity measures are essential to keep your organisation safe. Understanding the different threats is critical.

  • Identity theft and customer data theft happens when hackers use malware, computer viruses, and social engineering techniques to steal customer information.
  • The term DDoS stands for denial-of-service attacks which interfere with the regular operation of a server, network or service by sending traffic to it or its infrastructure in large quantities. Such attacks are capable of taking down entire websites and computer networks.
  • Those who hack into the organisation’s WiFi and take advantage of customer data are dark hotel hackers.
  • A phishing attempt is a method for conniving victims into divulging information by deceiving and convincing them. Phishing can be done through emails, fake web pages, texts, or phone calls, to name just a few methods.
  • Hackers attack vendors rather than the organisation directly when attacking payment cards or POS systems. Such attacks are referred to as third-party attacks. They cause financial harm to the customers. A hostile media report about your organisation can lead to financial implications and a negative reputation.

What can you do to prevent cyberattacks against your hospitality sector?

You should do a vulnerability test on your existing security system to find any weaknesses in it as a first step to securing your company. Use antivirus, antimalware, and firewall software along with a robust cybersecurity solution. Adopt multifactor authentication throughout your organisation.

Employee training is also essential. Ensure that all employees receive cyber training regardless of their level and how to implement security measures. They will thus be able to guard against being taken advantage of. When it comes to managing cybersecurity for the hospitality industry, professional cyber security firms are recommended.

Any concerns regarding the managed IT service for your hospitality business; we NSW IT Support can help you out! Contact us for immediate support…