The Undeniable Impact of Technology in Hospitality Industry

“Transformation in Hospitality - Southeast Asia 2019” hosted by TRG International is a 2-day event that aimed at providing hoteliers with an in-depth understanding of the latest emerging technologies as well as the potential impact that these technologies can have on the entire hotel industry.

The event marked the first time ever the participation of leading IT experts from TRG International, Infor, VinaData, HotTab and many more as well as prestigious hoteliers in Vietnam.

“The hospitality industry in Vietnam is very robust and has almost everything from homestays, guest houses, 1-star hotels to 6-star, luxury resorts. They all offer very unique services and trying to transform themselves digitally.

This is a challenge for not only Vietnamese hotel businesses but also the world. Smart hoteliers see such challenge as an opportunity and I believe that, with the right technology solutions, the hospitality industry in Vietnam will leapfrog in the foreseeable future.” - Rick Yvanovich (Founder & CEO, TRG International)

An overview of the travel market in Vietnam and the future of hotel technologies

Presenting the facts and figures about the current travelling market in Vietnam was Ken Atkinson (Executive Chairman, Grant Thornton). According to Atkinson, in 2018, the Vietnamese tourism sector enjoyed impressive results with a record of 15.6 million international tourists and 80 million domestic travellers.

Consistent with the increase in the number of visitors, the number of hotels also increases by 13.6% in 2018 compares to 2016. The number of 5-star hotels increases at a higher rate compared to 3 and 4-star hotels. Numerous new projects are being developed to catch the growing demand and can be expected to significantly increase hotel room supply.

Following Atkinson's presentation, Ted Horner (General Director, E Horner & Associates) added that applications such as revenue management systems, CRM, property management systems, corporate software and many more will be moving to the cloud by 2019

Horner also predicts that technology buzzwords today such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, voice recognition technology and blockchain will be the future of hospitality and will be incorporated into the daily operation to further enhance the guest experience.

"Smart hoteliers are increasingly relying on technology to help them gather data and deliver a highly personalised guest experience." - Ted Horner.

To cope with the ever-changing customer's demands, hoteliers need to utilise the power of data and technology to anticipate a guest's needs before they even arrive, before they even make a reservation by looking into their previous activities.

According to Horner, the seamless guest experience is the key to retain brand loyalty and ensure the business' bottom line.

Next generation hospitality solutions fuelled by cloud

Agreeing with Horner, Le X. Nguyen (Senior Director, Head of Sales & Marketing, Cloud Services, VNG Corp./ VinaData) commented that "Consumers are far ahead of business in terms of technology adoption."

As of January of 2019, there were already 143.3 million mobile subscriptions. The number of internet users was 64 million. 62 million were active media users and 58 million were mobile media users. Le X. Nguyen firmly believes that cloud computing can fuel digital innovation.

Many hotels have been using the same legacy systems for years and they are hesitating as to why they should transition to the cloud.

Andrew Turton (Account Manager, TRG International) went on to further explain the benefits of cloud computing including:

  • higher resilience when disasters (both natural and cyber) strike
  • minimal to non-existent capital expenses
  • work on-the-go, 24/7, via any device
  • scale up or down on-demand to suit the organisation's seasonal needs
  • highly secure as all activities on the cloud are closely monitored and audited by a third party

As Turton showcasing two of his most recent case studies where his clients chose to deploy Infor hospitality solutions built for the cloud, Turton emphasised that though the hospitality industry may not be among the early adopters of cloud computing, it certainly will be greatly benefited from the advancements that this technology brings.

Chris Gribble (Director of Major Accounts and Channel Partners, Infor Hospitality APAC) enthusiastically talked about Infor HMS Property Management System, the first true cloud lodging PMS system.

Infor has successfully implemented its solutions to more than 10,000 hotels. Their financial accounting and reporting solution is one of the most popular solutions, favoured by many hotels. Other popular Infor solutions are their revenue management system and property management system.

Notably, Infor HMS is suitable for businesses regardless of types and sizes, even 3-star or boutique hotels can still make use of the versatile and intuitive functions that Infor HMS offers.

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