Ian Schrager on How Hotels Get Technology Wrong

Technology remains the new frontier but plenty of hotels are still getting it wrong, according to the man who pioneered the boutique hotel movement in the United States.

Ian Schrager, who founded the Morgans Hotel Group and has launched a number of other brands, said hotels are too focussed on showing gadgets rather than using technology to make things easier for guests.

“I think technology is the future but not mood boards in the lobby, and not iPads in every room but technology that really makes everyone’s stay at a hotel easier, cheaper and there is a reason for it,” Schrager at Skift Global Forum on Thursday in New York City.

“Up to now I don’t think we’ve been using technology well.”

Schrager said that hotel companies need to remember that they are in the hospitality business and that the guest experience needs to be “doing something that astonishes people,” with added “excitement” and “glamor.”

One of the best uses of technology, Schrager said, is to make the guest experience as easy as possible.

Process like check-in and check-out should be  “absolutely frictionless and the time cut down to nothing.”

Paying bills and communicating with guests before, after and during could be made much simpler

“We can’t sit still and let everybody else do it and we follow everybody,” Schrager said.

The hotel industry should not forget the importance of innovation and care. “We forget that we’re really hosts, taking care of people who come into your home,” he said.

“I think sometimes that gets lost in the RevPAR [Revenue per available room a favorite hotel industry metric] and all the other objective criteria and second to that I think it’s such a capital intensive industry it’s hard to innovate. I think we make a mistake if we don’t innovate.”

(This is a copied Skift post)

Morgans Hotel Group