The Rise of Contactless Technology: Will Face-to-Face Connectivity Become Obsolete?

Elon Musk said, “There will come a point where no job is needed”. Actually, if technology has the ability to do things more accurately and faster, why do we need humans? It cannot be denied that technology plays an important role for businesses in general and the hotel industry in particular. Will direct connections become obsolete in this age of rapidly developing technology?

“Understanding the term Contactless Technology”

In recent years, advancements in technology have played a pivotal role in enhancing efficiency, improving guest satisfaction, and streamlining various processes within the hospitality sector. The integration of technology in the hospitality industry has revolutionized the way businesses operate and how customers experience services.


In the present era, hotels have embraced technology such as Apple Pay, as well as robots in order to support operations. In common, all of them make operations faster and more accurate. As the hospitality industry continues to evolve, technology will undoubtedly play an increasingly significant role. Whether through the implementation of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), or other cutting-edge technologies, the ongoing integration of tech solutions is poised to enhance operational efficiency, elevate guest experiences, and contribute to the overall growth and competitiveness of businesses in the hospitality sector.


Additionally, technologies can help businesses adapt and respond to unpredictable risks. A typical example is during the COVID-19 period when people were not allowed to interact too much and thus limited the risk of infection, contactless technology became increasingly important. Contactless technology refers to systems or devices that operate without physical touch. For example, contactless payment methods, where you can make transactions by waving a card or mobile device near a reader without inserting it, represent a form of contactless technology. Nevertheless, can a field such as the hospitality industry rely too heavily on contactless technology? While technology will reduce natural interaction between people, does the hospitality industry still emphasize human interaction if the overuse of technology?

“Benefits and Challenges”

Instead of taking over and interacting directly with humans, contactless technology can assist hospitality workers in improving the experiences of the guests. It also comes with the ability to predict customer needs and preferences, which can help with recommendations, personalized service, and upsell. Besides the aforementioned benefits, however, it still brings some drawbacks that may gradually lose the inherent hospitality of the hoteliers. These pros and cons can be described as below:

Contactless technology applications in the hospitality industry: Pros

Increase operational efficiency and productivity: Businesses are able to follow their operational procedures and easily gain the data automatically collected by the system.

Reduce costs:  Labor costs can be saved by automating routine and repetitive tasks and operators can reduce the unnecessary costs in the long term.

Improve customer experiences: The main driving force to retain customers is to make sure they have a memorable experience while using the brand’s service product. Businesses can create a bunch of personalized and appropriate selections for guests based on their preferences and behaviors. The hotels can use robots to perform various duties such as taking amenities to guest rooms and patrolling the building. 

Better forecasting: In order to develop the business sustainably, A.I has the ability to collect customer experience reviews by surveying and analyzing huge amounts of data within several seconds. Businesses can boost profitability by optimizing resource allocation, decision-making, and resource allocation by utilizing forecast accuracy.


Contactless technology applications in the hospitality industry: Cons

Loss of the human touch: A.I system can never fulfill human intuition and judgment, which can easily cause errors and inaccuracies. Humans also create a warm and friendly environment which is never seen in robots and this will make customers feel appreciated and want to revisit again.

Risk of causing disruption: Although technology is advanced, it still cannot avoid common errors. Customers might have to wait for extended periods of time, orders might be forgotten or lost, and rooms might be double booked.

High implementation costs: The cost to invest and bring contactless technology in operation is often very high, making it difficult for small hotels to implement. 

“How hoteliers are “recruiting” technology in their hotels”

Implementing technology into the smokeless industry, which mostly requires face-to-face or interpersonal communication, is considered a big necessary step for hoteliers to meet the needs of customers. According to a report conducted by Skift and Oracle Hospitality in 2020, which found that 71% of guests are likely to stay in self-service hotels, and 73% of hoteliers believe that contactless technology would be more important to their businesses, indicating that guests are gradually wanting to have their staycations in technology-advanced hotels. As a matter of fact, this phenomenon enables the hospitality industry to revamp and revolutionize its inherent characteristics into innovative technology-related markets as the world is changing. The world’s leading hotel corporations are pioneering the promised technology land with their own strategies. IHG group, Marriott International, and Hilton develop apps that allow guests to do their check-in & check-out procedures instead of paperwork, and stayers also can manage their reservations and connect their rooms’ facilities with a digital app.


“Experts call it future, hoteliers call it potential business”

It is remarkable that hotels are changing to automatic and advanced businesses, where guests are well-satisfied with voice-activated lights, their own face-recognized doorbells, and their 24/7 personal virtual assistant. As tempting as it sounds, the potentialities are truly undeniable as the PMS (property management software) market was valued at above $1.6 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $2.7 billion in 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.75%. Potential trends about contactless technology and A.I are carried out to exceed the customers’ expectations and greatly enhance the profitable business plans for hoteliers.


“Potential futuristic hotels with profitable complexity”

In the future, contactless technology in the hospitality industry will continue to evolve as technology advances and customer preferences change, leading to the adoption and integration of contactless solutions that will vary across different hotels and their target audiences. Although there are unwanted challenges that might happen when implementing contactless technology along with significant knowledge about the technology operations, the benefits are promising. As might be expected, successful implementation would increase per-transaction amounts as a result of easy-to-find products and product information, multiple purchase and payment options, and well-placed upsells. Moreover, businesses can increase customer stickiness through well-integrated omnichannel experiences, loyalty programs, and online account sign-ups. 

What are your thoughts about the application of contactless technology in the hospitality industry? Comment down below!


s2119574 says:

Hospitality management has a new game-changer: contactless technology. In light of the pandemic, this technology has become more important than ever. Not only does it address concerns surrounding information security, but it also enhances the overall customer experience. I do not doubt that contactless technology will prove to be an excellent tool for the industry.

s4223312 says:

Absolutely agree with you on this one, since the hospitality industry has been acknowledged as face-to-face interaction and the A.I is transforming the whole picture into a new interaction trend.

s4223314 says:

Digital is the future of hospitality, so investing into technologies at the present moment would help hotels gain significant competitive advantage in the future.

s4223312 says:

Thank you for your comment, we believe that we share the same thoughts.

Miriam says:

It’s exaggerated, I continue to do everything by self.
Food or house keeping by ai where? I don’t see them any where. And guess what electronic money is not taken for the privilege. It’s still physical and people. Thank goodness.

s4223312 says:

We thank you and understand your opinion about the lack of technology accessibilities in the household facilities and the reasons for that are the high implementation costs and they do require significant technical skills. However, we do believe and hope that in the future, the technology would be more accessible and affordable for everyone.

s4223321 says:

The surge in contactless technology undeniably brings unprecedented convenience to our lives, transforming the way we make payments, communicate, and access various services. While the digital landscape continues to evolve, it’s important to recognize that face-to-face connectivity remains an irreplaceable aspect of human interaction. The balance between the efficiency of contactless transactions and the richness of in-person connections is key to navigating this evolving landscape, ensuring that technological advancements enhance rather than replace the depth and authenticity of our relationships and interactions.

s4223312 says:

We really appreciate for your comment, since the “smokeless industry” has been always known for its interpersonal communication between actual human beings, thus, the application of A.I or contactless technology is understandably arguable. Nonetheless, the new interactive way of communication is inevitable in the future that brings countless benefits to the broad picture.

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