High Touch vs High Tech

The digital and technological revolution has been going on for a long time, but has significantly increased in speed during recent years. It has had great economic impact and without it, globalization would not have happened as fast as it did. The way companies interact with each other and with their customers has changed tremendously, as smaller companies suddenly gained access to much larger markets. In addition, thanks to decreasing technology costs, many innovations that impact our daily lives were rapidly made possible. 

Technology has had a great impact on the hospitality industry as well. From smart room keys to digital conferencing, from robotized reception desks to OTA’s: they all impact our industry’s future. The question is, how to use technology in our industry without losing the human touch?  

Technological developments have many positive effects such as greater connectedness, easier communication and better access to information, but there are some negative side effects as well. Information overload, data safety, privacy violations and network security are just the tip of the iceberg. 

One thing is certain: technology is key to success nowadays and is disrupting the industry rapidly. It
certainly adds to the guest experience and is needed to meet the guest expectations. But can this disruption win both the digital brain and the analog heart? Which level of dehumanizing will guests accept and is technology a threat or an opportunity? What can we learn from other industries in which technological development is happening at a much faster pace? And if we all focus on the same technology, how do we distinguish ourselves?

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