The largest hospitality technology tradeshow, HITEC, recently took place in Minneapolis. I found it very interesting to see the impact of the BYOD (bring your own device) movement on the hospitality industry. BYOD has been gaining momentum among enterprises for years now, as iPhones and Android phones and tablets have handily displaced long-time champion, BlackBerry. Since travelers already have these devices, it’s only natural that they bring them when they travel. And no wonder; as we saw from our recently released survey, 58% of travelers now bring their tablets with them—up from 37% last year.
Hoteliers, on the other hand, are struggling with the BYOD trend. The majority have been seeing revenues decline in part to the rise of these new technologies. As Wi-Fi becomes more ubiquitous, it’s no longer something they can charge customers for. On top of that, revenues from purchases of in-room movies have also been declining steadily for years. With iPads in hand, along with Wi-Fi, travelers now have access to unlimited movie content via services such as Netflix and Amazon.