19 December 2005

Personalisation and innovation in the hotel sector

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Sofitel
In this French language article (sent to me by Régine Debatty), two specialists in hotel hospitality discuss the impact of new technologies on their sector, and the delay the hospitality sector is facing in providing services (such as WiFi) that many of their customers have at home or in their office.

Philippe Rémondière, who is responsable for multimedia projects at the Accor Group, which runs 4000 Novitel, Sofitel, Mercure, Ibis and Formule 1 hotels, observes that the hotel sector will need new professionals skilled in technology and marketing to address these new customer needs.

When asked what the future in 15 years might hold, Rémondière responds: “The future is about being able to create your own room. So instead of going into a room that looks like any other, clients will be in the room that they choose and that they visited virtually before being at the hotel. This room will be entirely personalised according to the customer’s taste. This will go very far: the colour of the walls or the type of fabric will be chosen by the client and can be dynamically changed for the following client: the photo frames will show photos that matter to clients the moment they enter the room. They will also find their own movie selection there, including the movies that they selected during previous stays at the hotel. Smart home intelligence will be able to fine-tune these parameters. All these technologies already exist now and their implementation will mean a profound change for the hotel sector. The hotel will have to leave its traditional anonymity behind and will have to become part of the era of personalisation. Customers will appropriate these spaces by configuring their own personal environment, that will closely match they have at home.”

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