Will smart hotels be autonomous or connected?

May 08, 2017 •

3 min reading

Will smart hotels be autonomous or connected?

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By 2030, multiple changes will occur and will influence the hospitality industry due to globalization, one of them being a shift of market power.

In the fifth thesis of the Lausanne Report, EHL - in cooperation with hospitality experts - discuss this trend that will disrupt the industry depending on the economic stages of a market and its geographical position.

5. Smart hotels depend on smart destination

In 2030, more than five billion people or sixty percent of the total population will be living in cities. The infrastructure of smart cities will be digitized, decentralized and adaptive. It will need to cope with population growth, scarcity of resources, pollution, food security, urban safety and security, water supply and new mobility.

Scenario A: Smart hotels need to be autonomous

Environmental issues, the scarcity of resources, and the management of emergencies can be strong incentives for hotels to become autonomous and therefore reach a competitive advantage over peers.

Here are some key rationales of Autonomous Hotels:

  • City policies will request hotels to be energy self-sufficient
  • Hotels must set up their infrastructure according to these requirements, and they must be able to be independent and autonomous, not least due to rising costs for energy, water and other resources
  • The limitation of arable land will require new and more efficient farming methods that use less water and energy and produce less waste than traditional forms
  • The hospitality industry will make use of vertical farming and enhance the guest experience with a freshly harvested and processed food offering
  • As developing countries' infrastructure does not often meet the requirements for city networks and grids, hotels must have their own supply and treatment systems

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Scenario B: Smart hotels must be connected

Being connected to a smart infrastructure enables hotels to optimize their utility management and therefore increase profitability and reduce emissions at the same time.

Here are some key rationales of Connected Hotels:

  • Main airports hubs will be connected to high-speed ground transportation to link city clusters, which might lead to the disappearance of regional city airports
  • Smart Infrastructure will allow seamless door-to-door travel and provide access and individual security
  • Although there will be an increase in international business travel, domestic business travel is predicted to decrease as professionals will have the necessary connection to work from home
  • As a result of shared infrastructure, the use of resources will reduce via smart network load balancing, smart sensors, and forecasting
  • Urban security procedures for prevention, emergency and disaster management will become highly networked
  • Smart grids and the digitization of the energy supply chain will also allow for the balancing of energy production,grid capacities, energy storage and energy consumption

Let's co-exist

Smart grids will enable hotels to become independent virtual power plants. Smart infrastructure will help them to become autonomous in terms of energy – but this requires connectivity. Automatized data exchange with smart city infrastructure and administration only works if a hotel is connected. Operational advantages and a reduction in costs cannot be achieved without connectivity.