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Icts Hotels In The Hospitality Information Technology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Information Technology
Wordcount: 4651 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The revolution in ICTs has profound implications for financial and social maturity. It has pervaded every aspect of human life whether it is health, education, economics, governance, entertainment etc. Dissemination, propagation and accessibility of these technologies are viewed to be integral to a country’s development strategy. The most important benefit associated with the access to the new technologies is the increase in the supply of information. The secondly thing would be it also decreases the cost of production. Knowledge is transmitted, produced, accessed and shared at the least cost. With the decrease in the transactional costs, there is also a decrease in the degree of inefficiencies. Thirdly it has overcome the constraints of distance and geography. ICTs have cut across the geographic boundaries of the nation states. Buyers and sellers are able to contribute information, specifications, production process etc across the national borders. It enables all to know the comparative improvement in the market economy. It leads to the larger markets and increased access to global supply chains. Fourthly it has led to more transparency. Networking and information sharing definitely leads to demands for greater openness and transparency. Whether you want to know the status of the central banks’ foreign exchange agency or the cost prize of potatoes in the local market, ICTs empowers the individual with the information access, which is transparent. Efforts are under way to integrate ICTs to all sectors and developmental activity. Tourism is one such potential area.

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Information Communication and Technology is one the most important and growing field that every company and almost all the sectors are adopting to simplify work and also to reduce man power. ICT plays a major role in Tourism sector so as considering the example of a hospitality firm. Tourism includes many sectors like transport food, accommodation, restaurant, cultural activity and leisure, so fit all these sector into one particular form there is always the need of advance focus and development of itself to fulfil the customer needs. Now a day’s tourism sector fully focus on customer satisfaction as people who wants to travel has become independent by fulfilling their requirements on their own than to depend on a third person to help them do the sufficient requirements. In this processes ICT acts as a fully fledged support and a user friendly thing that even a normal person has started using internet to run his routine. In the developing world internet is become peoples second brain and it makes most of the things for man. So this assessment focuses on the main contribution of ICT in Hospitality that is in Hotel Industry.

Purpose

The main Purpose of this assignment is to find out the role of Information communication technology (ICT) in hospitality tourism sector.ICT acts as the main source of any industries development and also adds up to the reduction of man power and time, it is also used as a source to reduce problems. Even though, little is known about the extent or level of use of ICT. The ICT has become the major consideration, as it has become the revolutionizing equipment of the hospitality Industry. This study will look into the prosperity for the adoption of ICT based facilities in the hospitality industry. This also covers the problems that impacting the adoption of ICT in hospitality firm. This assignment contributes and finds out these issues. 

Findings:

This finding says that almost 80 per cent of the businesses use ICT efficiently, mainly to provide information and improve service quality. In addition, some firms had already adopted very effective methods of using the internet for sales and marketing but ignored supply functions. We will be surprised to notice that ICT is seen as a way of enhancing personal service and that rather than a barrier, it is seen to promote quality of service. Moreover, the respondents did seem to have used ICT effectively to overcome the disadvantages of place.

Objective:

The main objective to be focused on the assessment comprises of all the following issues and factors that helps us understand the importance, development and the barriers of ICT in the tourism field, especially focus in a branch of it that is the Hospitality sector:

The impacts of ICT towards Hotel industry

The ongoing use and implementation in the particular field

The major support and the main value of ICT

The successful implementation of IT in hotel industry and its advantages

The functioning of it towards marketing purpose and the way it support for the success of execution.

The Impacts of ICT towards Hotel Industry:

Hospitality industry is a highly information intensive industry, so information technology and communication has a wide impact in the particular industry. Information communication technology has created a new revolution in the world of tourism industry. The tourism industry is a big market in terms of the number of tourist visiting a particular place. It is stated that ICT has caused restructuring phenomenon (intermediation, dis-intermediation and re-intermediation in parallel) in the hotel industry. It proves that ICT has improved operating efficiency of hospitality industry as well as planning and booking experience of customers.

ICT has a great impact in hospitality industry- it enables direct contact with customers/guests and improves effectiveness and efficiency of client’s services.

ICT provides new tools and also enables new channels, creating new business environment in the industry, requiring all new skills.

ICT also makes the competition harder and so it demands a continuous investments on developing things and keeping it updated.

In all these impacts there are two major areas which are highly influenced by ICT that is electronic commerce and revenue commerce

Electronic commerce:

This can be defined as a secure exchange of information:

Business to business

Business to clients

clients to clients

business to government

business to client communication

research to business [1] 

Notes:

GDS – Global distribution system

CRS – Central reservation system

DMC – Destination Management Company

DMO – Destination Marketing Organisation

2Traditional valve chain

The value chain changes into a new concept as now a day it is focused just into internet that is almost most action depends on internet the value chain changes to:

3Internet based value chain

Revenue Commerce:

Revenue management’s sounds like the top most management, but most hotels are small and medium sized so every employee acts as a revenue manager. So it is an important factor that every employee is provided with knowledge of revenue management at all levels of the hospitality industry

The main goal of the revenue management is:

(a) Maximise yield (price units sold) or minimise lost revenue per available product unit in view of average cost per available product unit;

(b) Control availability of price products by customer revenue potential and forecast segment mix;

(c) Control daily availability of price products lower than full price, based on unsold inventory, time left to sell and segment total demand. [4] 

To fulfil these objectives, tourism professionals need strong knowledge in areas as marketing, finance management, statistics, customer service principles and distribution trends.

Implementation in the particular field:

The use of computer & its technology has vastly developed from 1980’s to the year of 1990’s. A survey given in 1980 said that a fewer amount of 10% were using computer technology. There were different surveys stating the usage of technology in hospitality industry in operating things efficient and making guest satisfaction.

There are two factors that affect the use of IT in an accommodation establishment. First is the type of clientele and secondly the complexity of operations. Considering the type of clientele and their experience will be affected by technology, helps us to determine the level of automation in a hotel. There are different types of client’s expectation different types of services. Business travellers consider more efficient type of services as they never want to spend time in any other thing than their work, so they appreciate speed of service and faster technology. Almost the other type of clients/guests prefers hotels where technology does not intrude into their vacation and leisure experience.

The complexity of a hospitality field is also impacted by many factors and computer technology plays a major role. “Larger the property, larger the technology” resorts with many activities like golf, tennis, multi-restaurants and other benefits has gained a lot through IT technology.

Hotel Size

% using IT

% high IT needs

% agreeing IT enhances guest satisfaction

Less than 100 rooms

89.4

28.9

70.2

101 to 300 room

96.7

43.6

83.2

Over 300 rooms

97.2

57.4

86.1

Different hotels use different technology to enhance their facilities and some of their applications are stated above [5] .

Property Management System (PMS)

Property management system is the main central computer which acts as the core functions of the hotel information processing. It maintains all details that describe the hotel, such as the size, type and the number of rooms, the rate applicable for rooms and other facilities, and also the details concerning the guest called the guest record or the guest history. This also includes various operations such as support and control and management of different outlets of a hotel that is front office, reservation, back office, food and beverage inventories, bar / shop takings, hotel staff salaries and wages accounting and also some of the managerial functions; in addition it acts as a hub in interconnecting the other systems of hotel. Property management systems (PMS) can run on different platforms and different software environments, depending on the size and type of a particular hotel, and the number of required instalments. As they spread more and more, it is the intension of Utell to connect directly to them. They are grown up with a rapidly high ratio and still expected for a high level of growth. This is the ultimate solution to the “no reservation on arrival” problem and also increases the overall efficiency of a hotel. Hotels usually implement their PMS on an in-house computer. That does not mean that they should have an in house IT department to support it. Most of the PMSs are turn-key systems that can be used simply by anyone as it is mostly being handled by the hotel staffs.

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Property Management System acts upon the requirements of a hotel, for example a small hotel or a guest house (less than 100 rooms) can be handled with a single computer to store and process guest information and room data and also generate management reports. A medium size hotel (100 to 300 rooms), will need a local area networks with a small workstation installed in different departments. A file server is used to keep all the software’s and files to allow various tasks to be performed on the same time such as check in and check- out concurrently. For properties more than 500 rooms, an even main frame computer technology may be needed for frame computer technology may be needed for a heavy volume of transaction

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Uses of ICT in hospitality sector:

There are numerous places where the ICT is used in a hotel industry, this implementation of technology helps save time and also reduces man power. The PMS software, which is used in the hotel industry acts as the key point from which most of the hotel operations are done. The main functions are stated as:

Check-in, check-out and guest accounting

Guest History

Room Management

Hotel reservation

CRS distribution

Point-of-sales

Food and beverage systems

Back- office systems

Check-in, check-out and guest accounting

This process of checking in a guest can be made more efficient by the technology for information technology. The check-in actually means that a guest file becomes active or a new file is opened for a guest who check- inn’s without any reservation made before the arrival and following this process, a guest folio is being created. The PMS has a walk-in option for the guest without reservations. The main interfaces between the PMS and credit card verification systems in the banks are used to ensure that a credit card has sufficient funds for the length of the stay of a guest. After this process a guest is being registered officially and handover the key of the room that is assigned to him.

There is a machine in the hotel lobbies that allows the guest to easily access to self check-in and quickly finish their process. These machines are connected to the PMS and are active after the guest swipe’s the credit card or also by the notion detector which detects the approach of the guest. All the process is being carried on in this machine without a front office staff interaction that is it greets the guest, guide them through the necessary procedures to check-in themselves, then assign a room and also issue a key for the room. They also have options to activate the energy management system that is the phone, and voicemails for the rooms. A self check-in machine is most of the time a touch screen and very rarely keyboard operated and this machine can be used by both the guest with or without reservation.

Once a guest folio is created at check-in, then after all the charges made throughout the stay are posted to that folio either manually or electronically. Manual posting are done by back office staffs and electronic postings are done by software and hardware interfaces and done rapidly without any mistakes.

The check- out procedure in a automated hotel do not require guest to pay in the front office neither it automatically transfers funds via credit cards that allows express self check- out, in which the guest folio is being presented under the door and the credit card is automatically billed if there is no discrepancies. PMS software also translates the bills into numerous languages used by hotels with a large international clientele.

Guest History:

Guest history is well known as database which all the hotels maintain as a part of PMSs work and it is a powerful marketing tool. After every guest check’s out the room the guest information is placed into a guest history database by the PMS. This database contains all the information of the guest that is the preference during their stay and the consumption of things/ food or any other thing from the hotel during the stay, these information’s are maintained for three main purposes,

To enhance future marketing activities

To facilitate future reservations

To customize guests future visits [7] 

Room Management:

The room management is a important component of PMS which tracks the status of the rooms, which helps the housekeeping to distribute rooms for cleaning duties. The typical room status followed by the PMS is occupied, vacant, dirty, clean, inspected and uninspected this allows the front office to allow the clean rooms and get the other rooms ready for occupancy. On every check- in and check- out, the room status changes accordingly. The status of the room can be changed by both housekeeping and front office, by the notification of housekeeping and also the housekeeping can do it by the PMS terminal provided in the housekeeping desk [8] .

Food and Beverage Systems:

This part of system controls the food and beverage stock that is necessary for the hotel’s daily operation. It also has the price of the item and its suppliers to act upon customer demands.

Point-of-sale systems:

This is a sub-system which comprises of payment handling that produces bills; this machine accepts various financial instruments from the guest, that is credit card, cash, guest cards etc.

Back Office Systems:

This is a set of systems that records all transactions and maintains the hotel’s account book on all the transactions made by date, month and year. Almost three years details are being maintained by this systems and the other records before three years are kept as a backup. This system wires the sales ledger, purchase ledger, purchase bills, accounts payable and general ledger.

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Marketing and Guest History

Housekeeping and room management

Executive decision making

Accounting night audit

Reporting printer

Self check-in

Printers

Guest folio

Front Desk/Cashier

Reservation

PMS

UPS

Remote check-in

The major support and the main value of ICT

There are many other industries that support information technology, as they are also into a vast influence by this particular field. Tourism on a whole has a constant growth with the help of information technology. The advert of information technology launches new things to make everything new travel, tourism, hospitality, airlines, food industry and many more. The service industry is one of the major components of the global economy, particularly in the developed countries. This sector has accounted for a two third of the employment, so in the recent upcoming years hospitality industry get to pay the main attention, which is the main driving force of being the successful industry. The outstanding growth of hospitality industry can be related to the fact that their basic characters are highly compatible with the major technical source of innovation opportunities. Because of its advantage on the capability of the communication field and increased information channels, information technology saves cost while increasing the output and the quality of most service productions.

However, the main value added by the IT industry to the hospitality firms is not only limited to the supply side. As an example we could take an instant thing that ICT has reduced the need of the front office staffs, as interaction and time is saved where there are many ways that is made technologically than to use man power. In addition information technology supports and improves the hospitality industry, with its interaction with suppliers and users, which is major source of information for the industry. On the other hand ICT plays a vast role in recognising the completion advantages and its vital improvement accordingly to these innovation activities according of the industry.

The successful implementation of IT in hotel industry and its advantages:

The implementation of information technology in the hospitality industry is to a large extent changed and is properly planned and well managed. Now a day’s personal computers have been introduced and which even being replaced by mini- computer based systems. To be well effective the organization has to plan and implement with an overall long time plan. Once a strategic plan is being made, then the information technology plan has to be planned. This should include the clear role that technology will play in achieving the target of the Hotel. It is planned in a way that it comprises of the present and future plans of the company, so as to work in a well planned successful way.

These planning help to implement a successful technology which adds advantages to the hotel by its advance technology. There are vast advantages of IT that can be stated in which the few are saves lots time, reduces man power, makes a guest happy for making things efficient and faster. The technological development is a gift to the upcoming hotels which plans a high income and a success. A computer technology in a hotel focuses on four main aspects,

Speed: A computer technology is an electronic device which can handle and process hundreds of transactions in a fraction of time, which results in the quick completion of difficult tasks.

Discipline: the implementing advantage is being taken for it to perform a same task again and again without any mistake and without any distractions

Accuracy: it does what we really need and according to the command, as a result they do not commit any mistake and all the calculations are accurate.

Capacity: the analysis of any in-depth process and large amount of data performance can also be made in less time instead of doing things manually [10] .

The functioning of it towards marketing purpose and the way it support for the success of execution:

Every department facilities a different advantage with the technology and the sale and marketing also has its own advantage from the implementation of IT sources. These systems store a large amount of information that helps understand the measures of accommodation and hospitality business. In particular it saves the guest information that helps maintain a data base of the guest profile providing information for marketing purposes, which is a strong marketing tool called pull marketing. Another important factor for marketing is the yield management, which has the record of past performance of a room and the hotel that is the occupancy level in a particular time or day of the year and set the optimum rates that will maximize the property’s yield management programme.

SWOT Analysis: [11] 

Strength:

Strength can also be advantage of the technology which is deeply discussed and explained before. Successful hotels are constantly trying to adapt new technological improvement to keep them updated and to meet the necessary needs of the customer or a guest. These days’ people are looking forward for more and more technological based things to save time on whatever they do. Business guest needs to access internet in where ever they are for their official purposes like emails during their business trip. They would even need video conferencing, when a company holds a business meet in a hotel, so when a hotel provides all the basic facility to keep a customer service and satisfaction in a high level then the strength of the hotel keeps increasing allowing more and more development of technology.

The basic strength that can be added is the quality of work can be high. This also tent to reduce manpower and low the wages, which can produce a highly skilled human resources. It also allows us to follow the service standard. This helps to bring highly skilled professional as this needs knowledge to work in.

Weakness:

As the technology increases it also leads to some of the weaknesses which should also be considered when taking steps to improve, as the technology gives you all the things you need there is always a lack of practical knowledge and also a dearth of suitable candidates. Until the system tells you the name of a particular guest who is a regular customer to our property we don’t try to remember as it is said to be technological. This field is a still developing field but not a developed field as it has a small number of adaptation in some countries. Lack of jobs is also to be considered in countries with more population. Lack of effective marketing and aggressiveness in the field work can also be a weakness.

Opportunities:

There are facilities to provide high quality information technology market. It also adds up by increasing the number of educated people working. It allows and helps the development of any developing countries by making them adapt the culture of IT. Upcoming international players in the market would also an added opportunities. Hotel industry is developing in recent days in a rapid speed with the advantage and opportunities provided by the information technology and communication.

Threats:

There is a minimum thread as many threats are being reduced by time and development. When a threat is being seen there is a development to rectify that threat but still in some hotels these are still lacking to be developed for example lack of data security systems. And the development of IT also concentrates in a few cities only. Large market can also be an abstract as it may need a huge concentration or field work.

Conclusion:

The use of information technology and communication has a vast influence in all the sectors and mainly in hospitality industry. These things are well discussed and given an appropriate values that would add advantages to the statements given. Hospitality sector is mainly into a high touch service- based industry requiring technology to put it forward. The readings clarify that the exact use of technology in this particular field can increase the efficiency and reduce cost on human and financial services can be funnelled into personal services. In these discussions we also come to know that the use of technology in a correct way can be used as a successful tool.

The implementation of technology by the managers is a challenge for them in many areas of the properties, the appointments of talented staff to be professional is a very important factor to be considered. Hospitality technology is now increasing with the pace of keeping a new generation to the computer technology and its development. So this allows most of the users to be familiar with the development of new products. the hospitality once which depended only on human resources and which was a big challenge to face, is now investigating whether robotics technology fits into their industry. There are also many successful stories behind this argument.

Information technology is becoming more and more advanced and occupying the industries with its fast growth, as it becomes common and most used in hotel and restaurants, it is no longer going to be represented by the competitive advantage, instead it would prefer managers who could be creative and can use technology and information it provides rather to work on their own. These issues are being as evidence now a day by guest history systems. This database must be analysed and turned into real knowledge to improve decision making capacity and the satisfaction of the customer. So as to conclude Hospitality industry is going to be the vision that is going to be successful in the future with the technological development of Information Technology and Communication.

 

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