Hotels look to gadgets to woo guests

Hotels look to gadgets to woo guests

Today's travellers are more difficult to please than before. A lot of that comes from expectations.

People assume they can remain connected to family and friends wherever they go. For example, travellers get frustrated when Wi-Fi is an extra charge on their hotel bill. And they want to use their own devices so that they don't have to learn and relearn how to use devices in every new hotel they stay in.

On top of that, people want Internet connections that are fast and reliable, with hotel support that is knowledgeable and friendly should they run into snags.

Those demands were the inspiration behind an international competition called Tomorrow's Guestrooms, launched by Hotel Icon, the teaching arm of Hong Kong Polytechnic University's School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM), to solicit the best gadgets available specifically for hospitality usage.

The competition ran from January to February this year on its website, with 20 entries proceeding onto the prototype stage for consideration.

Eight winners were determined by a committee of judges, chaired by Mr Terence Ronson of Pertlink and coordinated by Dr Basak Denizci Guillet, an SHTM professor.

Students, professors and hoteliers tested the products to help determine the winners.

"This was our first competition and the response from the industry was overwhelming," said Dr Guillet.

The products were integrated into three guestrooms in Hotel Icon, which can be booked through the school.

The award-winning products are available for use in the rooms until the end of the year.

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