“Home Alone 2” sees nine-year-old Kevin catapulting bad guys into the air using a see-saw and lighting their scalps on fire. Yet, out of all the shenanigans, the most unrealistic scene might be the one where Kevin manages to check into his Plaza Hotel room within minutes.

Nations are gradually relaxing tough border controls as they learn to cope with the pandemic. The hospitality industry is slowly reviving, but the long waits that accompany leisure travel continue to affect us. Is there really no solution in sight?

David Ooi, Senior Sales Director for the Digital Business Unit at NEC Asia Pacific, shares three tech tools that can make vacations safe and fuss-free.

1. Reducing manual tasks

Facial recognition technology can speed up the check-in and check-out process for guests. They would be able to swiftly enter their designated rooms and effortlessly manage their arrival and departure.

Facial recognition can also be used in the verification of guest benefits.

Staff can verify guests when they show up at the restaurant during breakfast time, give access to hotel facilities like the gym or pool, and instantly recognise VIPs at hotel lounges or executive clubs. Travellers can even use face ID to make payments at shops on the hotel premises.

This will transform the way employees interact with guests, says David. Technology automates mundane tasks while manpower can be redeployed to serve other needs, such as providing more personalised customer service.

For example, guests often have preferences when it comes to the breakfast table. Some may request a window seat, while others would like a spot that is nearer to the buffet. The facial recognition technology frees up room for hoteliers to take care of these individual needs instead, David quips.

2. Managing people traffic

To ensure that guests enjoy their stay, hotels must also take extra precautions to enforce safety management measures. This includes limiting guest occupancy in accordance with maximum capacity rules.

“We have developed a sensor that can track how many people are entering and leaving a location via headcount,” shares David. Data collected reports the number of visitors in real-time, which helps hotels monitor and manage human traffic with ease.

This also means that hotels are able to self-regulate before the authorities step in. Any breaches in health guidelines have a detrimental impact on the reputation of hotels, notes David. “Hotels can now prevent the situation from escalating and curb offenses early on,” he adds.

3. Collecting feedback

Finally, David recommends implementing a real-time feedback system to engage with the opinions of guests. The insight helps hotels to satisfy expectations and improve loyalty so customers are more likely to come back.

Beyond fine-tuning the delivery of guest services, David highlights that a feedback system can also be used to increase operating efficiency.

It is common for hotels to outsource laundry or food and beverage services. Hotels can track the performance of their partners based on guests’ input and determine if they want to continue working with the vendors. This will result in an improved quality of services and better budgeting, David says.

The scene of Kevin checking into his hotel room within minutes may not be as far removed from reality as we think. NEC is able to support the various journeys in hospitality and create an environment that makes guests want to return.

Find out more about these hospitality tools at NEC Visionary Day ASEAN 2022. Click here for more details about the event.