When I first started writing about the hotel industry, technology was a subject that hardly ever came up. In fact, most hotel GMs were probably either afraid technology would replace personal service or perhaps replace them. And the initial forays into the world of technology by hotels and hotel companies were centered on the back of the house. Again, the fear of many in the business was rejection of technology by guests who (they assumed) wanted lots of face-to-face contact with hotel staff.

Obviously, times have changed, and if you ask them today, most guests say they want more technology in hotels, not less. Road warriors, in particular, want to use technology to make their lodging experiences more productive, quicker to transact and less of an all-around hassle. In fact, some frequent travelers would probably prefer no human contact at all. It’s a sad commentary, but true.

Of course, what’s changed in the past 37 years (actually a lot less) is the invention of the Internet. Not only has the net greatly improved operating efficiencies, reservations capabilities and sales and marketing functions for many hotels, it has opened up a world of pleasures and conveniences for hotel guests.

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