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How is Marriott hotels in UAE using mobile technology innovation to enhance guest experience?

Studienarbeit 2018 24 Seiten

Touristik / Tourismus

Leseprobe

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

REFERENCES

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1: Number of visitors to Dubai

Figure 2: Number of people using mobiles in Dubai

Figure 3: Percentage of people using different technology services in a hotel

Figure 4: Percentage of time spent using different technology

Figure 5: Data about Dubai Hospitality Sector. Dubai: The Hub Report

Figure 6: Data about Technology spend and top tech priorities for hotels in

Figure 7: Percentage of US adults who own the following devices

Figure 8: Percentage of people who think these are the reasons that make an app or service trustworthy 14 Figure 9: Emerging Market and Developing Economies by Region

Figure 10: United Arab Emirates: International Tourist Arrivals 2007-

Figure 11: Percentage of millennials who use a smartphone

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: comparing 2 reports on innovation 2016-

Executive Summary

The purpose of this report was to find out how Marriott hotels in UAE are using technology innovation to enhance guest experience. This study focused on technology specifically and the methods used in this research are an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data on technology usage in US, UAE and global data on privacy of information shared, an analysis of two different reports on how businesses use innovation and different theories on technology adoption in hotels.

This study focused on use of prevailing technology, future possible uses and making connection on possible leverage Marriott can use in UAE market in order stay ahead from competition and give the guests exclusive Marriott experience in term of technology used and as demanded by customer.

Based on the data found and analysed, it can be concluded that Marriott hotels in UAE have potential to implement different existing and potential future innovation in technology as there is demand from guests as presented by data on US technology. Moreover, if Marriott hotels do apply the recommendations, and decide and let the guest know what information will be collected and used from the customer when they use different technology in the hotel the service will be more efficient, and guests will have seamless and custom-made experience when they stay in hotels. It is also important, that with current business scenario, where shared economies like Airbnb and OTA are competing with on line sales and presence, Marriott should differentiate itself in technology and guest experience to create niche market for its brand.

Introduction

In today’s world the service industry tries to create magical experience through wide use of technology.

UAE is quite a modern and growing market in Middle East. With modern cities, record breaking skyscrapers and expensive beach hotels and resorts, United Arab Emirates has become a preferred destination for global travellers. The Global Destination Cities Index 2017 ranked Dubai as the world’s fourth most visited destination for international overnight visitors in 2016 with 14.87 million visitors ahead of Singapore, New York, Seoul and Kuala Lumpur. (Mastercard Destination Cities Index, 2017 p.2) Dubai is planning to host more than 20 million visitors at World Expo 2020 and UAE is looking to add more than 200 new hospitality and leisure-recreation projects across the country, with more than 80 of them likely to open during 2018. (Gulf News, 2018).

Marriott is the world’s largest hotel brand and it has more than 5700 hotels (Forman & Doyle, 2016). “Throughout its more than 80-year history, Marriott International has built a reputation for quality, service excellence and innovation.” (The power of Marriott International, 2018)

This study will be analysing the effect technological innovation has on the guest experience as an external consultant from Hilton, using qualitative and quantitative industry data and academic articles. This study will be answering the question How is Marriott hotels in UAE using mobile technology innovation to enhance guest experience? According to Zaitseva, Larionova, Yumatov, Korsunova & Dmitrieva (2016):

“Innovation in the hospitality industry is mostly concentrated in two activities: the provision of material and technical conditions for the provision of services to guests and potential clients and expanding the range of basic and additional services of hotels with innovation.”

According to another article by Buhalis & Leung (2018) “To bring in smartness to the hospitality ecosystem, a common platform on the cloud must be setup to enable data communication among applications. Ramos et al. (2015).” An example of smart technology is given by Cobos, Mejia, Ozturk & Wang (2016) when the authors write about Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology as a security technology “RFID technology can be defined as a communication technology which uses short-range radio waves for automatic identification and data exchange (Roberts, 2006).” Another article by Melián-Gonzalez & Bulchand-Gidumal (2015) analyses self check-in and its effectiveness “IT can also change a room's physical attributions like colour, sound and smell (Hosteltur,2014).” According to Wei, Torres & Hua (2016) “The more engaged, empowered, happy and confident that SSTs make a consumer feel, the more likely a consumer has a transcendent experience.” According to an article by Lim, Teh, Ahmed, Cheong, Ling & Yap (2018) “In the service environment, keyless systems have the potential to provide customers with a seamless experience by avoiding the potential interruptions associated with key-enabled systems.” According to another article by Jung, Kim & Farrish (2014) “hotels started providing mobile applications which allow customers to not only make reservations, but also to purchase products, unlock guestroom doors and check-in/ out. (Beldona and Cobanoglu, 2007).” This shows that hotel guests today are so used to technology that the guests just expect an elevated level of technology to be there in the room or hotel. Moreover Chathoth (2007) argues that “Full service hotel firms will have more to gain from the use of IT as the customers’ expectations (before they consume the product/service for the first time) are higher than other hotel products and services because of price-value trade-offs.” Based on these academic articles and industry data, this report will be focusing on mobile technology innovation in Marriott hotels in UAE.

Data Presentation and Analysis

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Qualitative tabulation of 2 reports on innovation

Table 1: comparing 2 reports on innovation 2016-17

This table shows the similarities between two reports about innovation. This table shows 2 companies- Boston consulting group and PwC. Boston consulting group “partners with clients in solving the hardest problems challenging their businesses-and the world” and they do this by “finding solutions with a partnership with the clients” (bcg.com,2018) and PwC is a consulting company “we are among the leading professional services networks in the world. We help organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for, by delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services.” (PwC,2018) Staack and Cole (2017) explains the process of Marriott innovation as: “Marriott’s innovation cycle as a “prototype-to-pilot” process that is designed to test three risk factors. They will test the innovation as a pilot at a handful of hotels; as the risk factors are vetted, the company will then begin to scale up to several hundred hotels, and ultimately may deploy worldwide.” This shows that innovation for Marriott is not easy as Marriott needs to go through various stages of testing before the product can be rolled out and this applies for technological innovation also as Marriott must do a pilot testing of all technology services provided in the hotel, both in room and across different departments.

Quantitative data using bar graphs

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Figure 1: Number of visitors to Dubai. Adapted from Visitors by Nationality Government of Dubai

This graph shows the nationality of visitors coming to Dubai and it also shows that the highest number of visitors come from India excluding the “Other” category which may suggest that Indians perceive Dubai as an attractive destination. This data may help Marriott target certain nationalities to offer specific products or services related to mobile technology, as people from more developed nations of UK, US, Germany, Australia, France, Italy, Canada and Netherlands may be already used to seeing technology adopted to hotels in their countries and they may have a perceived image of Marriott hotels as a technologically enabled brand, and they may expect some sort of technology available to them. Also, it is interesting to note that in UAE, Dubai is considered as business hub of middle east and a high number of business travellers are included in these visitors.

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Figure 2: Number of people using mobiles in Dubai. Adapted from Telephone Lines Government of Dubai

This graph shows the number of people using mobiles in Dubai. This data shows the trends for mobile usage for 3 years and the highest number of mobile users was in 2014 with around 64 million people while the lowest number of mobile users was in 2015 with around 57 million people. A reason for this decrease could be because people used more tablets than phones, however in 2016 the number of people using mobiles increased by around 652,000 people which will be an advantage to Marriott as it can target mobile users more easily. Data is available for cloud computing, Social media presence and demography in the region. All these tools can be used to have long term impact in creating personalised guest experience.

Quantitative data using Pie chart

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Figure 3: Percentage of people using different technology services in a hotel. Adapted from 2016 Hospitality Vision Study

This pie chart shows the percentage of people using different technology services such as automatic adjustment of thermostat, using smartphones, tablets to control in room needs, smartphone check in and mobile wallet for payment in a hotel. This chart is useful for the research because it shows how many people (as a percentage) use different technology in a hotel and all technology segments in the pie chart are used by similar percentage of guests so it shows that all technology elements are important, but the highest percentage of guests are checking in using smartphones.

Quantitative data using bar graphs

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Figure 4: Percentage of time spent using different technology.Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions 2018. Deloitte study

This graph shows the percentage of time spent using different technology by different age groups and the most time spent is on a smartphone for most age groups from 18-64, so this shows that if Marriott tries to be innovative with mobile technology it will be successful, and the hotel can use this data to provide relevant mobile services to the guests.

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Figure 5: Data about Dubai Hospitality Sector. Dubai: The Hub ReportFrank Knight Research 2018

This data shows 3 different data about the hospitality industry in Dubai. The first data is the average length of stay and in that Dubai ranks number 5 with 3.6 nights. With average occupancy Dubai hotels have 77% occupancy and for average daily rate Dubai hotels have the second highest ADR with $194. This shows that the Dubai hotel sector is growing, and it will continue to grow. This data shows the overall hotel market in Dubai in comparison to different developed cities.

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Figure 6: Data about Technology spend and top tech priorities for hotels in 2015.Grant Thornton Emerging Clouds in Hotel Technology Spotlight on cloud-based PMS

This data shows the percentage of technology spend and the top tech priorities for hotels in 2015. This data shows that the maximum amount of money is spent in guestroom technology (17%) and the top tech priority for hotels is customer facing mobile solutions (40%)and this shows that hotels are willing to spend money on implementing mobile and guestroom technology for the guest so that the guest can have an enjoyable experience.

Quantitative data using line graph

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Figure 7: Percentage of US adults who own the following devices.Pew Research Center Internet and Technology 2018. Mobile Fact Sheet

This graph shows that before 2011 people owned a cell phone which is a phone where you can only talk and text. But after 2011 people started using a smartphone which has more functions than calling and texting. In 2018 the percentage of US adults who owned a cell phone was around 90% while at the same time the percentage of US adults who owned a smartphone was around 80%. With this data, Marriott can target the growing demand of people using smartphones to make the service offering more relevant.

Quantitative data using bar graph

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Figure 8:Percentage of people who think these are the reasons that make an app or service trustworthy.MEF Global Consumer Trust Report 2017Consumer Insights to Understand the Impact, Challenges and Opportunities of Building Trust in Personal Data

This graph shows the percentage of people who think of many reasons that make an app or service trustworthy and the highest percentage is for clear, simple privacy statement, which shows that people are concerned about how the app or service will use their data. Marriott can use this data to request certain data from guests and make it clear how it will use the data without harming the guest before implementing services such as Netflix or mobile payments. Misusing guest’s data with or without the guest’s knowledge will be harmful to the company as it will affect the company’s reputation and guests will no longer be loyal to the company. Moreover, the law of GDPR has come into effect from 25th May onwards, however this law will only affect Marriott Hotels that are in Europe, so the business that is being analysed in this study won’t be affected. However, it is an important law that needs to be considered for the privacy and security of guest’s data.

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Figure 9: Emerging Market and Developing Economies by Region World Economic Outlook April 2018

This graph shows the purchasing power of different emerging economies in the periods of 1995–2005, 2006–17 and 2018–23. As you can see the MENAP (Middle east North Africa Afghanistan and Pakistan) region has a low purchasing power from around 1.2% in 1995-2005 to 1.8% in 2018-23 so this shows that there is slow economic growth in this region, but it is likely to grow in the future. However, this graph shows the general economic growth, and the economic growth in the hospitality and tourism industry can be higher.

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Figure 10: United Arab Emirates: International Tourist Arrivals 2007-27Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2017

This graph shows the number of foreign tourist arrivals in UAE from 2007 to 2027. As seen in the graph the number of tourists is increasing year on year and it is forecasted to increase from around 20 million to 30 million in the next 10 years. This is an opportunity for Marriott as it can target customers easily.

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Figure 11: Percentage of millennials who use a smartphone. Adapted from Marketing to Millennials Fluent report 2017

This graph shows that the majority of millennials use a smartphone, so this can also be an opportunity for Marriott as it can target millennial customers easily and provide relevant services such as keyless unlock and mobile ordering.

Apart from normal cloud service, integrated reservation system, Marriott rewards and Wi-Fi services offered across the Marriott brands, we can say Marriott in UAE are offering lot of services. Following are the major technologies offered by Marriott in UAE –

Digital signage in the lift, corridor, check-in counters and restaurants - Guests appreciate finding out about hotel offers, directions, special service or special lunch or dinner offered by hotel. With the display at prominent positions, hotel maximizes revenue potential from its services. Some Marriott hotels in UAE are offering this service.

Video services – For business guest offer in-room business video. This unified communications and collaboration, enhances physical security, and data centre under one roof. The result can be memorable to all guests and very useful for business travellers. This service is becoming common in USA but not yet started to offer in UAE market.

Mobile Video Concierge – Guest can check information about weather, events in city, restaurant booking, airport pick up or drop, any kind of travel related booking through video concierge or mobile app.

IP telephony - Guests can simply touch the screen to order room service, check the weather, browse special offers, and more, such as a guest who uses the phone to request an automated wake-up call is invited to order breakfast by touching an interactive menu on the phone. Guests who prefer to talk to an associate just press a button, and the call can route through first available associate.

Overall, we can see UAE is dynamic and growing market. With 20 million visitors in next 2-3 years, this market has lot of potential. Marriott already recognised this and have close to 20 properties in different market segment. The growth is very fast. First hotel was open in 1990 and since than regular hotels are opening in Dubai and UAE. This rapid expansion has created its own challenge. In Marriott brand itself, we see varying degree of automation, use of technology and gust experience. Some brand-new hotels are offering cutting edge technology whereas some old ones are still not able to catch up. From physical construction, architecture to virtual experience, everything is slightly different. Marriott need to make this experience has seamless as possible. So, there cannot be any challenges in implementing an innovative technology model.

For shared economies, UAE is new market and they are still trying to put their business model in place. Residential landscape in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, two major cities in UAE, are changing constantly. So, it is difficult for Airbnb or similar companies to have sustainable growth. Most of the visitors are staying 2 or 3 nights in UAE and business guests and tour operators are a sizable portion of UAE visitors so most of them still prefer to stay in hotel. So, Marriott has real opportunity to encash this growth provided they make sure that the guest experience based on technology or seamless and uses of technology should provide overall enhancing experience.

Conclusions and recommendations

Today’s hotel guests are looking for technology to enhance their stay whether it is meetings, events or stays. The average customer’s technology usage level and sophistication has increased, especially the time spent on mobile devices. According to Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions 2018, Deloitte study report 66% of 18-24-year olds use a smartphone app the most time spent is on a smartphone for most age groups from and so the technology must play a competitive role in providing guest experience. Marriott should think of targeting millennials as stated in the graph above, 87% of millennials use a smartphone. (Fluent, 2017) This will create real opportunity for new business for Marriott as it can target millennial customers easily and provide relevant services. Moreover, as smartphone usage has just recently increased from around 30% in 2012 to 76% in 2018 in US, this can be another opportunity for Marriott to target mobile users. Also, hotels are spending the maximum amount of money on guestroom technology (17%) and the top tech priority for hotels is customer facing mobile solutions (40%), so hotels are increasing their spending on technology and Marriott Dubai can join other hotels in upgrading its facilities to be high tech. As stated above, employees can help in making the hotel more innovative as they can pitch innovative ideas in staff meetings to make their department function better by using innovative technology and this makes the employees work more efficiently and easily. Moreover, if Marriott maintains its brand image more people will trust it to use technology and customer’s data safely as stated in the bar graph of MEF Global Consumer Trust Report 2017, 32% think that the app or service is trustworthy because they recognise the brand. Most of the visitors coming to UAE are tourists or business travellers. A graph by Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2017 shows the number of tourists is increasing year on year and it is forecasted to increase from around 20 million to 30 million in the next 10 years. So with the UAE expecting so many visitors, the hotel has to be prepared with technology innovations. This market can be right market to experience new technology and new gust experience as tourists who come to UAE are already familiar with technology and they expect to see technology in the room. According to government data the highest number of mobile users was in 2014 with around 64 million people while the lowest number of mobile users was in 2015 with around 57 million people and as this number is increasing, Marriott can target mobile users easily. Moreover according to data from Hospitality Vision Study 74% of people check in using a smartphone and 71% use the smartphone to control in room needs, so integrating smartphone technology in the hotel will be beneficial. According to Pew research in 2018 the percentage of US adults who owned a cell phone was around 90% while at the same time the percentage of US adults who owned a smartphone was around 80%. So this growing smartphone usage is an opportunity for Marriott and it can Rules and regulations are quite new and keep on evolving. So this market can be test market for Marriott. Marriott can offer a consistent optimised guest experience that delights customers. The data collected shows that there is potential for Marriott to implement mobile technology. Moreover, Dubai hotels have 77% average occupancy and for average daily rate Dubai hotels have the second highest ADR with $194, so this also can be an opportunity to attract millennial travellers and implement technology, as the occupancy and ADR may grow in the future as the expo 2020 is coming up. Based on the above data and the fact that Middle East is a growing market based on slow growth of purchasing power and the fast growth of number of tourist arrivals, forecasted to increase from around 20 million to 30 million in the next 10 years, Marriott can be successful in implementing technology innovation to stay competitive, however there may be costs involved in implementing technology in the hotel, but it will be beneficial to Marriott in the future as the processes in the hotel will be more efficient.

Overall, we can see UAE is dynamic and growing market. Marriott already recognised this and have close to 20 properties in different market segment. The growth is very fast. First hotel was open in 1990 and since than regular hotels are opening in Dubai and UAE. This rapid expansion has created its own challenge. In Marriott brand itself, we see varying degree of automation, use of technology and gust experience. Some brand-new hotels are offering cutting edge technology whereas some old ones are still not able to catch up. From physical construction, architecture to virtual experience, everything is slightly different. Marriott need to make this experience has seamless as possible. So, there cannot be any challenges in implementing an innovative technology model.

For shared economies, UAE is new market and they are still trying to put their business model in place. Residential landscape in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, two major cities in UAE, are changing constantly. So, it is difficult for Airbnb or similar companies to have sustainable growth. Most of the visitors are staying 2 or 3 nights in UAE and business guests and tour operators are a sizable portion of UAE visitors so most of them still prefer to stay in hotel. So, Marriott has real opportunity to encash this growth provided they make sure that the guest experience based on technology or seamless and uses of technology should provide overall enhancing experience. Here we are talking technology which are used directly in the hotel and physically most of the hotels implement it and guest staying in hotel can experience it. Another aspect of technology which Marriott can implement is its online presence and handling of social media and promotion to attract guests and Marriott can do this in line with developing new technology.

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Seiten
24
Jahr
2018
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Englisch
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v489010
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80.70
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marriott hospitality technology mobile UAE

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Titel: How is Marriott hotels in UAE using mobile technology innovation to enhance guest experience?