Technological advancements within the hotel industry have been evolving in leaps and bounds over the past few years so it pays to keep a close eye on the current trends to gain an idea of the direction the sector may take in the future.

Fortunately, new research collated by the Ard na Sidhe Country House in County Kerry, Ireland, has laid out the latest trends in a handy infographic, providing an informative and engaging outline of the key technological advancements that we are beginning to see gain traction and can expect to shape the future of the industry.

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The list of trends to watch was topped by an old concept given a modern revamp. Website plugins and widgets are by no means an unfamiliar concept to the hotel industry, but the aforementioned research drew attention to the increased use of these features for review purposes. By incorporating these into their websites, hotels allow guests to link straight to unbiased feedback without having to navigate away to another site. Additionally, it offers them the opportunity to give their customer service a boost and effectively manage and monitor their online reputation.

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TripAdvisor (amongst other review sites) offers free widgets and plugins to hotels, though some might be reticent to jump on this bandwagon for fear of negative feedback appearing on their site. However, the stats indicate that negative reviews are not always a bad thing. More than 60% of TripAdvisor users agreed that a good response from management to a bad review makes them more likely to book compared with no response whilst 80% believe a response shows that a hotel cares about its guests. Additionally, a significant 95% of online shoppers found a lack of negative reviews suspicious.

The next trend set to evolve is the use of social media in the hotel industry. Currently, Facebook is the only platform used extensively across the sector with only a third of hotels taking advantage of posting videos on YouTube. But with video predicted to account for 80% of global internet traffic by 2019, hotels might want to include its use in their hotel online marketing efforts.

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Finally, the research highlighted the advent of 5G. The latest variation of mobile isn't likely to become widely used for a good few more years, but its adoption could result in guests being able to view hotel rooms and enjoy virtual tours in 3D whilst improving the efficiency of self check-in. It could also see the future of the front desk evolve into one which is focused on managing mobile apps and social media.

It may be early days for 5G but we like to keep our eye on the lay of the land. One thing's for sure, the next few years hold ever more interesting technological advancements for the hotel sector.

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