Australia has recently lifted the travel restrictions that have kept most residents at home, paving the way for a much-anticipated recovery in the country’s hospitality industry. With a strict lockdown spanning much of the last year, industry professionals expect recovery efforts to be ignited by revenge travel, which has dominated the industry abroad.

After 18 months of pandemic-related restrictions, however, Australian hoteliers will reopen their doors to a different world of hospitality—new technological solutions have risen to the forefront, challenging operators to meet evolving guest expectations for a more personalised, digital-first experience. As hoteliers grapple with new industry challenges, looking at the reopening of travel abroad can offer some valuable insight into how Australian operators can successfully prepare their network for the impending revenge travel boom.

Guests are More Tech-Oriented

Social isolation led to an increased reliance on digital connectivity; many sought to foster connections on social media, while streaming services like Netflix and YouTube grew in popularity. As properties began reopening across the globe, many hoteliers found that guests are now consuming more bandwidth than ever before.

Insufficient bandwidth, which can lead to lagging or spotty internet, can be a pain point for guests, who increasingly expect high-quality Wi-Fi. To prepare for Australia’s reopening, ensuring that the property’s network infrastructure can handle increasing bandwidth usage is vital. With bandwidth consumption likely on the rise for the foreseeable future, upgrading property networks can help hoteliers deliver the seamless experience that guests expect.

Bleisure Travel is On the Rise

Despite a slow return of business travel, bleisure travel has been on the rise across the industry. A blending of business and leisure travel, bleisure travelers are demanding more from hotel technology than ever before. Business travelers have always required swift internet speeds, but in the post-COVID world, tech-savvy bleisure guests more frequently use software like virtual conferencing tools, leaving them more sensitive to interruptions in connectivity. Additionally, because bleisure guests often travel with friends and family, more devices are connected to the property Wi-Fi—leading to network slowdowns.

To ensure that their property is prepared to deliver seamless internet, hoteliers should consider reevaluating the placement of their Wi-Fi access points. By strategically placing access points, which are wireless network devices that extend the coverage of an existing network, hoteliers can increase their network’s capacity for additional users without slowing down internet speeds. A professional network site survey can allow hoteliers to optimize their Wi-Fi performance by helping them understand how to best position their access points and, if needed, employ solutions to fit a hotelier’s budget and the unique needs of a property.


IoT Solutions introduce Security Threats

IoT, or the ability to connect any device through the internet, played a vital role during recovery across the globe by enabling hoteliers to implement contactless solutions. Solutions like digital check-in and check-out, mobile payment systems, and room sensor controls ensure hoteliers can provide a safe environment for their guests, while also offering increased convenience.

However, IoT technology comes at the added risk of new security vulnerabilities, which could compromise hotel or guest devices. Because IoT enhances connectivity across a property, a weakness in the lighting control system can be exploited to route a data hacker through a property’s connected channels, delivering hacks that could otherwise be inaccessible.

Not only is ensuring that the network is properly secured vital to protecting guest data, but containing security threats in a timely manner can help hoteliers mitigate risk. Hoteliers need to ensure that their network providers offer vital support and prevention measures, including 24/7 monitoring and easy access to technical support teams. By partnering with an industry-leading network provider, hoteliers can better protect guests while delivering the connected experience they expect.

The role of technology is changing, but connectivity is more important than ever before. As Australia prepares to reopen, understanding the challenges faced throughout the global industry’s recovery can help Australian hoteliers deliver strong and dependable network services that meet the expectations of today’s guests.

Lancemore Hotel