NATIONAL REPORT—Hotels can no longer afford to ignore the prevalence of mobile devices and connectivity, as it only plans to become more all-encompassing: By 2019, there will be over five billion mobile phone users, according to recent estimates. When you consider the importance of connectivity and devices to these modern times, it becomes impossible to ignore the necessity of outlets for charging in hotels. Even more, when you look forward to the future of hotel design, you begin to see even more reasons to have a comprehensive power and charging solution.
The hotels of the future will be armed with many high-tech features, including smart technology in rooms, touchscreen amenities and intelligent lighting systems. Guests and hotels alike will depend on them to provide a highly connected, intuitive experience. Outlets and connectivity solutions can no longer be disregarded as they will be supporting both guests’ devices and the technology that fuels their new, immersive experiences.
To bring additional insight to this landscape, Legrand recently commissioned a survey, conducted online by Harris Poll, to determine the precise wants and needs of the modern traveler when it comes to power and charging. The results show that power and charging is no longer something to ignore: it’s a must-have for every hotel.
Fifty-seven percent of guests (defined as Americans who have stayed overnight at a hotel/motel in the past 12 months) report that charging their devices is one of the first things they do upon entering their hotel/motel room. After long days of traveling, both business and leisure travelers look for ways to refuel their dying batteries. Outlets can no longer be an afterthought that is halfheartedly retrofitted into hotels; power and charging needs to be at the crux of the hospitality design process.
It isn’t simply enough to provide any means for charging: It also better be easy to find. For 74%, not being able to conveniently charge their devices when staying overnight is a “primary concern.” Eighty-three percent report being frustrated if an outlet isn’t near them, directly by their bed or nightstand, when staying at a hotel/motel. Despite designers often choosing to tuck outlets behind dressers or along the walls, people are looking for them to be front and center.
Other trends in hotel design will also influence the need for power and charging. Designers report that guestrooms will become less and less focused on extraneous features and spaces, stripping them down to the necessities. Instead, lobbies and other gathering areas will start to take over, becoming central hubs for mixed use. For example, the lobby might feature a restaurant or bar and the amenities required to make it a useful business center: easily accessible power outlets, fast WiFi and wireless printing capabilities.
This can only help a hotel’s revenue, as providing support for guest technology can encourage them to stay longer. Nearly half of guests (46%) would spend more time at a hotel/motel indoor common area if there was easy access to an outlet for charging. While they’re there, they may be encouraged to spend more on food and beverages. When looking at a hotel’s plan for lobby amenities, power and charging should be a top consideration.
These trends, and the data that support them, demand that nearly every space within a hotel is designed with power and charging in mind. Previous design habits may have relegated electrical to the bottom of the priority list. However, the bottom line is that power and charging matters. It’s important to guests, especially if you consider their digital habits and preferences, and it’s important to hotels as they look to the future of hospitality.