Personal Small Business Enterprise

Making the Most of Hotel and Resort Television Services

The image of the weary road warrior flopping down in front of the hotel television set with a plate of room service food to watch a recently released movie is a well-aged tradition. But it might be a tradition in need of some refinement today because hotel and resort operators have many more options to offer their guests who, as it just so happens, are looking for more than standard TV fare when they check in to their hotel room.

Here are some current consumer and technology trends that need to be considered by hotel and resort operators who want to cater to the more demanding in-room television entertainment tastes of today’s travellers.

1. Consumers want the same sophistication on the road as they have at home
The home television landscape has changed drastically over the past five or 10 years with broad consumer adoption of gorgeous new high-definition sets, far-more-varied programming choices and the ability to interconnect the TV with other multimedia devices. And when consumers travel, they’re not going to settle for anything less. “Today’s traveling public is used to sophisticated technology at home. And we want it in our hotel rooms, too,” according to a recent Washington Post article.

2. Broad variety of channels and ease of use dictate television preferences
According to a survey by Hilton Worldwide cited in the same article, any individual consumer is interested in only about eight different television channels. But with the broad array of traveller types checking in to the average hotel or resort, it’s no surprise that those eight channels are not the same for everyone. This puts a premium on offering your guests a broad variety of channels from which to choose. And that, in turn, puts a premium on having a user interface that is intuitive and easy to use.

3. What I want to watch, when I want to watch it
Thanks to technology like personal video recorders, consumers have become accustomed to watching what they want when they want. The hundreds of channels offered by the best of today’s business television services means your guests can time-shift their program viewing, catch up on the local news from their hometown station and pause and rewind content in case a telephone call — or that room-service delivery — interrupts.

4. The Internet and apps are an integral part of today’s television experience
The television set isn’t just for television programming any more. It’s become an integrated entertainment hub that consumers use for a host of different applications, including surfing the ’net, checking email, spending time on their social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter and keeping up with the latest in weather, stock market listings and more. The same experience can be delivered through an in-room television service offering that includes Internet connectivity and popular apps.

5. Specialty programming can cater to your traveller demographic
You can enhance the in-room television experience of your dominant traveller demographic by offering them specialty programming. If you have a lot of overseas visitors staying at your hotel or resort, for example, cater to their interests and tastes by offering international sports, news and cultural programming. If business and commercial travellers are the biggest segment of your market, offer them the news and business programming and apps they want. If yours is a family resort, children’s programming and apps must be part of your lineup.

The bottom line
The television set and the variety of entertainment that can be accessed through it is second only to the location in what today’s travellers consider when looking for their hotel accommodation. Hotels around the world are responding to this by deploying the latest available television hardware and programming in an effort to achieve and maintain a competitive edge. Are you keeping up?

What have you done at your hotel or resort to respond to new consumer demands for a more varied and interactive television experience? Please share your story in the comments section. 

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