A major change coming is the immersion of the industry into e-check-in, according to Jim Holthouser, Hilton Worldwide Holdings’ executive VP of global brands. E-check-in largely exists today; the industry just hasn't done a good job marketing it or operationalizing it. The straight-to-room idea is the big nut to crack in hospitality, but this is the way the 3D customer wants to work with us now. We can lament that we’re losing touch points with the customer, but the customer is speaking: "We're into speed; we're into convenience. We want to knock down barriers. We don't want to stand in line anymore." That doesn't mean it won’t bring some positivity to hotels. It’s an efficiency play for hotels because they’re not going to need as much labor. But the front desk does not get away. It's mission becomes less focused on transactions, more focused on service and problem resolution. And there is Google’s continued expansion that will continue to force hoteliers to alter many aspects of their business, including technology. “They have turned their attention to photographing rooms, lobbies, hallways of hotels,” Holthouser said. “You might not even know they’re in your hotels doing this but they are, and they’re going to sell it, and the (online travel agencies) are going to want to buy it.” Get the full story at Hotel News Now