The Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) was held last month at the LA Live convention complex in Los Angeles. During this conference, USA Today gathered five of the industry’s top executives to discuss recent industry trends and developments. Recognizing the challenge of tech-savvy guests with much different expectations than guests of prior generations, these CEO’s discussed a variety of different topics from innovative new technologies to improving the guest experience and addressing hot issues such as hotel Internet fees.
The general consensus among the panelists was that Internet access is a top amenity for travelers, and hotels are responding in various ways. Marriott CEO Bill Marriott stated that they are trying to reduce the number of Internet suppliers and enforce a set of standards across those providers, while also increasing bandwidth to improve the quality of service. Richard Solomons, CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group and Hubert Joly, CEO of Carlson, said that they are addressing this issue by looking at a tiered model; for example providing complimentary basic Wi-Fi access and charging guests for optional premium Internet access with higher speeds. From this discussion it’s clear that the major brands are focused on meeting guests growing appetite for Internet while innovating new ways to use technology to enhance the guest experience. Hoteliers should take note, and make sure they invest in technology that delivers a compelling online experience that is both affordable for their guests AND for them.
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