Technology Paradox

Gadgets are great. Technology is wonderful. It certainly makes my life easier and more enjoyable (most days). And, it helps hotel guests too. A recent NY Times article (thanks Alex for the pointer) explains how technology is making people feel more “at home” and how we hoteliers are able to “adapt” to our guests more seamlessly.

But, be careful…these things have a tendency to get out of hand. Look at check-in kiosks for example. These well hyped devices are anything but personal. They aren’t friendly or caring. And, they can’t tell you where to find a good meal after 10 PM.

There’s a fine line between technology that serves the hotel owner (higher efficiency and productivity, lower labor costs, etc.) and that which enhances the guest stay. Clearly, we have a big responsibility to look at this carefully.

The bottom line…guests like to feel special and cared for. And, while technology can and will do a lot to help that along, only people (emotional, passionate and “take a chance” people) can deliver what guests want most. Please don’t make the mistake of replacing that with a robot.