Press Release

UK Travellers Want High-Tech, Low-Touch Hotel Stays, New Oracle Survey Shows

71% of people want hotels to offer tech that minimises contact with the staff and other guests

64% are open to hotels using their data and AI to deliver more relevant offers

Hoteliers look to tech to ease staffing woes and support unbundled, pay-for-use services

LONDON, UK1 June 2022

A new study by Oracle Hospitality and Skift shows that 96% of people in the UK plan to travel in the next six months, however many want to eliminate the ‘touch’ from the high touch industry they once knew. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of travellers want to use their mobile device to manage their hotel experience, including checking in and out, paying, ordering food, and more. This is good news for hoteliers looking to tech to manage staff shortages without hurting guest engagement and service.

Over the next few years, UK travellers are also looking to personalise their journey even more by picking their exact room and floor and paying for only the amenities they want – and even pre-screening properties in the metaverse (57%). Moreover, 64% are comfortable with hotels using their data and AI to better tailor services and offers, such as room pricing or food suggestions and discounts. The majority (84%) of UK hotel executives say their hotels are likely or somewhat likely to adopt this ‘unbundled’ model in the near future.

“The pandemic has established technology’s role in the guest and associate journey, and the industry is never going back,” said Alex Alt, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Hospitality. “Whether a hotel organisation has two properties or 2,000, guests are looking for the highly digital, self-service experience they have come to expect in other parts of their lives, from banking to ordering food. For hoteliers to meet these demands, especially given the current labour shortages faced by the hospitality industry, they need systems that will enable them to quickly adapt. This means being able to ‘plug in’ new services better and more efficiently, in order to serve a diverse group of travellers.”

The “Hospitality in 2025: Automated, Intelligent… and More Personal” study surveyed 5,266 consumers and 633 hotel executives across the world – including 997 travellers and 63 hotel executives in the UK – in the spring of 2022. The objective of the survey was to better understand how guest expectations have changed and how hotels are adapting. Consumers and executives were surveyed in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, and Mexico. Check-out the report at:


Travellers want people to ‘get away’ while on their getaway

Two years of restrictions created pent up desire to travel, with 30% of UK travellers planning an epic “revenge travel” trip. But the pandemic has also left jetsetters feeling antisocial with many desiring contactless and self-service technology:

  • 91% of travellers don’t miss being around other people while staying on a hotel property.
  • 71% agree that they're more likely to stay at a hotel that offers self-service technology to minimise contact with the staff and other guests.
  • 58% are looking for contactless payment (only 2.51% want to pay in crypto).
  • 35% want to order room service from their phone or a chatbot.
  • 32% want a fully self-service model, with staff only available upon request.

Staff remains slim, tech is helping

The labour shortage remains a top issue in the hotel industry, but UK hoteliers are working hard to onboard new tech to ease the strain on guests and staff:

  • 72% of hoteliers said incorporating new technologies for staff best describes their strategy to weather labour shortages and attract new talent.
  • 98% are investing in contactless technology, with 76% noting “a fully contactless experience” is likely to be the most widely adopted tech in the industry in the next three years.
  • 50% added that their highest priority is to adopt tech that improves or eliminates the need for the front desk experience between now and 2025.

Travellers are mixed on how patient they are willing to be in this transition:

  • 40% said they want a fully contactless experience for all basic hotel transactions (check-in/out, food & beverage, room keys, etc.).
  • 42% said lower standards of cleanliness would be their #1 deterrent to rebooking a hotel followed closely by the staff shortage resulting in slow service (37%). However, just 24% noted that a lack of daily room cleaning is an issue, showing consumers have accepted (and 19% welcomed!) that this pre-pandemic mainstay is never coming back.

People looking for the comfort of home, even when away from home

Whether ordering room service or signing onto Netflix, UK travellers want the ease and convenience of home while travelling:

  • 53% said on-demand entertainment access that seamlessly connects to their personal streaming or gaming accounts is their #1 must-have during their stay. Likewise, 52% of hotel executives said this in-room entertainment set-up is what they’re most likely to implement by 2025.
  • 71% of UK travellers are interested in using automated messaging or chatbots for customer service requests at hotels.
  • 37% want voice-activated controls for all amenities in their rooms (lights, curtains, door locks, etc.).
  • 20% want room controls that auto-adjust temperature, lighting, and even digital art based on pre-shared preferences.

A la carte-based hotel pricing

Consumers are interested in a hotel model that lets them pay for just what they use. Hoteliers, in tandem, are looking at new service models that upsell everything from amenities to adventures:

  • 88% of hoteliers expect a big service model shift between now and 2025.
  • 35% strongly agreed that “special amenities and upgrades” are critical to their revenue strategy.
  • 84% said it is very or somewhat likely that the future of hotel revenue management will be underpinned by unbundling room rates, like a “basic economy” vs. “economy plus” model on airlines.

For travellers:

  • 87% said they would be likely to book a hotel that allowed them to pay only for amenities that they use.
  • 55% are willing to pay more to choose their view; 51% to check in early/check out late; 38% to use the spa, wellness, or fitness services; 36% to choose their room; 29% to choose their room floor; and more.

Into the metaverse

Interest in virtual reality and metaverse-related hotel amenities are high, but are not currently on the “must-have” list:

  • 57% of UK travellers are very or somewhat interested in using the metaverse/VR to explore a hotel virtually before they book.
  • 72% said they would be interested in metaverse experiences like sightseeing, art exhibits, and fitness classes if hotels provided VR headsets.
  • 45% of hotel executives are already developing VR maps of their hotels or are planning to do so within the next year.

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