Hoteliers making long-term technology decisions are studying not only how different generations interact with technology today, but also are trying to anticipate what they will expect in the guest room of tomorrow – be it around the corner or on the moon.

In the short-term, hotels are leveraging their existing infrastructure. Examples include using cable modems to get HSIA to guestrooms via wiring traditionally reserved for TV, using voice connection to link from the room to the Local Area Network, or wireless solutions via the desktop PC or set-top box.

But, as you consider significant future technology investments, it will be wise to consider the patterns of technology use in each generation. Guest loyalty, and ultimately profit, will follow from smart investing that caters to guest needs and preferences, not simply from purchasing and installing the latest technological innovation.

It’s no secret that technology has become integral in our daily lives. We expect to get information now, and stay connected to the world with a touch of a button. And, our ability to control what we watch and listen to whenever, wherever, with devices like TiVo and the iPod represent a significant shift in the way that consumers interact with content. These behaviors and preferences spill over to travel.

Hotels seeking to gain a competitive edge will pay close attention to these trends and act accordingly. Guests want to customize their hotel room experience, and expect to have the same benefits of home while away. Beyond luxury bedding, and in-room spa products, technology, and the ability to be ‘plugged in,’ will be the driving force behind guest loyalty.

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