Predicting Tomorrow: The Future of Hospitality Tech

May 2024

The hospitality industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, which has propelled technology forward. 2019 marked a successful year with high revenues for the entire hotel industry worldwide. However, this success was followed by a pandemic that severely affected the travel industry, leaving a lasting impact on the hotel sector. Despite the challenges, the market swiftly recovered post-pandemic, with room revenues experiencing a growth of 20-30% between 2019 and 2023, primarily driven by increased rates. So, as we look ahead, what do we see on the horizon?

Staff shortage

Today, there are approximately 20 million hotel rooms worldwide. However, the aftermath of the pandemic has led to a significant staff shortage, posing one of the industry’s most significant challenges. According to a survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), 87% of respondents reported experiencing staff shortages, with 36% describing them as severe.

While staff shortages persist, guest expectations of a smoother and more digital guest journey have increased. The digital guest experience is no longer a “nice to have” but a “must-have.” In addition to staff shortages, the industry also faces new challenges such as inflation and increased costs. It’s crucial for hotels to realize that technology is the key to meeting the expectations of both guests and staff, and the key to running a profitable hotel operation.

Technology as a competitive advantage

The hospitality industry is fiercely competitive and it’s becoming increasingly clear that the demand for modernizing and replacing existing technology has increased as the industry seeks to streamline processes, reduce costs, control staff shortages, and, most importantly, enhance guest experiences.

Those without digital solutions risk losing guests who prefer alternatives that better meet their demands for self-service, such as check in, payment, room access and check out. 

A change that we’ve observed is that the hospitality industry is shifting its focus from build to buy, meaning that it’s becoming more common to outsource parts of the digital guest experience to someone else.

This is partly due to the complexity of developing and implementing advanced digital systems, but also due to the need to leverage expertise and experience from specialized suppliers. Security is crucial, especially when handling sensitive guest information and transactions. We see that hotel operators seek guidance, expertise and trusted partnerships with vendors that not only have a proven track record of successful implementations, but also offer a future proof solution that will enable them to get access to the latest technology without having to build this out themselves.  

We see a significant increased demand for technology solutions that enable hotels to: 

  • Offer personalized guest experiences tailored to individual preferences and needs
  • Enable seamless and contactless check-in and check-out 
  • Accommodate diverse guest requirements, including accessibility needs, language preferences,
    and other special requests.

Mobile keys in Wallet

As pioneers in mobile keys, we’ve witnessed the impact of mobile keys in Wallet firsthand. The technology allows travelers to store their room keys directly on their smartphones and provides guests with seamless access to their rooms. By being the first to launch Apple Wallet outside North America, we’ve seen how this technology improves both guest satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Looking ahead, the future of mobile keys in Wallet is promising. Collaborating with industry leaders like Google, we are working towards offering room access in Google Wallet, further revolutionizing the hospitality industry. These advancements represent a significant leap forward in guest convenience and hotel operations. 


The hospitality industry has faced ups and downs, from a strong 2019 to the challenges of the pandemic and its aftermath. Despite hurdles like staff shortages and higher costs, technology is becoming even more crucial for meeting guest expectations. As guests increasingly prefer a digital guest experience, hotels must adapt to stay competitive.

Looking ahead, mobile keys in the guests’ digital Wallets offer exciting opportunities for the hospitality industry to continue to offer memorable and meaningful experiences to its guests, regardless of what the future holds.

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