How is the Digital Era Aiding in the Evolution of the Hospitality Industry?

Digitalization has left no industries untouched with its miraculous advancements, and one of the sectors that have experienced a whole new level of digital advancement is none other but the hospitality sector. In this article today, we will delve into the varied ways in which the digital era has aided in the evolution of the hospitality industry.

30-second summary:

  • Service automation to bring an extra edge to customer interactions and leading to efficient workforce management
  • Location-based services to aid the efforts at personalizing and customizing guest experiences
  • Social media serves the twofold purpose of digital marketing and customer services
  • An increase in the use of apps and chatbots for facilities like loyalty programs

With the evolution of new technologies and the market disruptors reaching their zenith, the need for a core transformation is noticed in every industry, and the hospitality sector is no exception. As such, the sector has long identified the value of digitalization as the catalyst to offer not only excellent guest experiences but also to reduce several operational inefficiencies. Thus, it comes as no surprise that more than 50% of hotels have planned to increase the IT investments in the years to come, while over 40% have decided to keep their current investments unchanged.

So, how far has this wave of digitalization transformed the hospitality industry? Surely, the way we book hotels or check-in has improved immensely in the last five years, and even our methods to find the right places to head to have undergone a sea change. But, is that all to the digital evolution of the sector? In this article today, we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, one among the leading travel and tourism management colleges in Kolkata, will give answers to all such questions by outlining the impact of the digital era on the hospitality industry.

Enhancing guest experiences through service automation

Service automation refers to a vast area that includes everything from using facial recognition and automatic check-in through apps to automatically offering the amenities as per guests’ preferences, such as booking spa appointments or giving extra towels. Automation has led to a transformation of both customer-centric and customer-facing activities, thereby making more staff free to focus on other crucial areas dealing with further improvement in guest experiences.

We, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, a renowned hospitality management college in Kolkata, in our years of experience in grooming efficient professionals for the hospitality industry, have seen that in this era of competitiveness, a business that goes the extra distance for the customers is the one that has more of the recall factor. Thus, a combination of service automation and the dedicated efforts of the hotel employees is levied to add to the guest experience in order to make it more memorable and ensure repeat stays at the accommodation.

Letting mobile apps and chatbots take center stage

For a long time, loyalty programs have been a crucial element in the marketing efforts of a hospitality location as it ensures increased engagement and interaction with the guests.

With the apps coming to the forefront with technologies driving these loyalty programs, the rate of engagement is only going to rise in the years to come. After all, nearly 56% millennials and 50% of Gen X guests have opined that they would much rather use a loyalty app, rather than carry around a loyalty card.

Now, the next-gen of mobile apps and chatbots will be used as one-stop destinations, offering access to a variety of facilities, right from controlling the room lighting to ordering movies for the night.

Reforming the humble desktop phone in guest rooms

So, what is the least advanced technology found in most hotels? It’s probably the humble desktop phone kept in the guest rooms!

But, not anymore, as the digital era has made it possible for guests to pair the in-room phone system with the apps on their mobile phones. This enables guests to switch between the devices to receive calls anywhere, along with adjusting the room temperature or ordering room service from any place, regardless of whether it’s outside their room or even outside the property.

Businesses are using this connected technology to inform guests about their upcoming gym or spa sessions, provide recommendations about local events, and the likes.

Leveraging social media for customer services and marketing

At present, there is hardly any business in the hospitality sector that does not have a social media presence, regardless of its scale of operations. Social media has lately emerged as a powerful tool taking the hospitality industry a lot closer to its target audiences across the globe.

Irrespective of whether it’s a halt for the night or weeks, the guests turn to social media for pictures, reviews, and more of an establishment before they check-in. Moreover, they post their own reviews on their pages about their experience of staying at the hotels.

Thus, those curated social media profiles of hotels and restaurants that we notice on these platforms, serve the twofold purpose of fueling the digital marketing initiatives and improving the customer services.

Location-based services focused at personalization

Keeping the guests comfortable and happy during their entire stay: isn’t that one of the main tenets of the hospitality industry? Well, this is exactly what the advancing hospitality technology attempts to ensure as well, and making use of the location-based services is one of the ways it is done.

Knowing the location of the guests enables the hotels to push out special offers when they are more likely to act on them. For instance, giving them a special coupon when they’re passing by the hotel gift shop or sending a glass of orange juice to their room right after their morning run. It even lets the hotels know the whereabouts of their staff, so that they can be sent to the right place at the right time.

Thus, it’s evident that technology has turned out to be a critical component in revolutionizing the present and future of the hospitality industry. However, another fact is that regardless of all the automation, guests have always craved human interaction in this service-based industry. And, this is where expertise and skills of the hospitality management professionals come into the picture. At Avlon Shiksha Niketan, we are putting in dedicated efforts to provide our students with real-world based training that makes them capable of managing the actual complexities that might arise anytime in the industry. Our aim at Avlon, being the most highly trusted hospitality management institute in Kolkata, is to not only make our budding professionals adept at keeping pace with the evolving digital tech in the industry, but also to groom them to become proficient enough in bringing that much-needed humane touch to the proceedings.

An Overview of the Key Segments of the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry is a vast arena comprising of a number of elements that work cohesively under the banner of hospitality. In this article, we will discuss the key segments of the hospitality industry and their roles in customer satisfaction.

30-second summary:

  • The hospitality industry has four key segments, namely, lodging and accommodation, food and beverages, travel and tourism, and entertainment and recreation.
  • Each of the segments involves varied job opportunities with varying degrees of direct customer interaction.
  • Customer satisfaction is the main aim for all sectors of the hospitality industry.
  • Lucrative career prospects exist in every segment of the hospitality industry.

The hospitality industry represents a bustling, multibillion-dollar industrial sector with a myriad of categories. And, the focus towards delivering the finest customer service is the unifying factor of all these segments. In any case, the coming together of these varied sectors of the industry is what ensures that the needs of the guests or travelers are catered to in a holistic manner.

At Avlon Shiksha Niketan, the leading hospitality management institute in Kolkata, we believe that the hospitality industry is a well-oiled machinery with each segment acting as a cog that keeps the system running smoothly for years. Thus, as you plan to foray into any of the categories of the industry in future, we believe that it’s crucial for you to have an understanding of the roles and responsibilities that comes with each segment. After all, each category can work only as well as the people who are a part of managing and running it. Keeping that in mind, today, we have brought to you an overview of the key segments of the hospitality industry.

The four key segments defining the hospitality industry

The hospitality industry consists, by and large, of four key segments, namely:

  • Lodging and accommodation
  • Food and beverages
  • Travel and tourism
  • Entertainment and recreation

As mentioned above, each of these segments has a crucial role to play in ensuring that the industry thrives and maintains its profitable stature. Let’s take a closer look at all of these segments one at a time.

Lodging and Accommodation

This segment covers a wide expanse which involves all kinds of facilities that provide lodging services, right from luxurious resorts, lavish hotels, bed & breakfast establishments, to campgrounds. Though we can’t deny that world-class amenities and comfort are at the heart of great accommodation, it’s also true that efficient customer service is indispensable to any hotel or resort. And, this is where your skilled expertise will come into place.

If you are entrusted with a role in managing the lodging and accommodation section of an establishment, you can have a variety of responsibilities. For instance, you can work as a front office associate or a concierge. In both these job roles, you will be handling a considerable amount of direct customer interaction.

According to reports, there is expected to be a 6% and 9% increase in the demand for lodging manager and front office associate jobs, respectively, within the year 2026.

Food and Beverages

The food and beverages segment covers everything from a simple bistro to a high-end restaurant and all other catering establishments in between. This segment is further divided into three key categories:

  • Quick-service restaurants: These establishments mainly focus on garnering quick meals, drinks, and snacks (For example – Pizza Hut or KFC).
  • Full-service restaurants: It refers to a typical eatery that features course meals, drinks menu, and other food services. Fine dining to themed restaurants are all full-service establishments.
  • Catering businesses: This category mainly offers services for special occasions, like birthday parties and weddings.

At Avlon, we have often seen that people have a misplaced notion that being a chef is the only major role in this segment. However, the truth is that you can have a really lucrative and fulfilling career here, working as a part of the restaurant or food management team.

Travel and Tourism

There’s another commonly mistaken idea that we have noted, and that is considering tourism as something synonymous with hospitality, instead of counting it as a segment. In fact, it is one of the most important elements of the hospitality industry because, as you can guess, the other segments largely depend on it. The travel and tourism sector mainly involves the responsibility of moving people from one destination to another. Thus, without adequate development of travel and tourism in any region, the growth of the hospitality industry would also be stunted.

If you are a part of this particular segment of the hospitality industry, you’ll be probably working as crew members in the airlines, cruise ships, and the likes. As such, your focus areas to excel in the sector would be customer satisfaction, relationship management, and other integrated marketing and management skills that are necessary for smooth running and expansion of the business.

Entertainment and Recreation

The fourth segment of the hospitality industry is the entertainment sector, which is, in fact, also increasingly coming up as one of the significant aspects of traveling. At the end of the day, wouldn’t you want your traveling experience to be filled with all the fun and adventure to make it even more memorable? Keeping that in mind, activities like golf, casino games, nightclubs, bars, and private cruises have also been included as an integral part of the industry at present.

As an entry-level professional working under this segment, you can be a part of the team handling event management, meeting and convention planning, meeting coordinator, and so on. The earning potential and career scope are pretty good, and you can expect to keep rising higher and higher as you gain experience in the domain.

We, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, being in the domain of hospitality management education for several years and recognized as a renowned hospitality management college in Kolkata, know what it takes to thrive and flourish in the various segments of the hospitality industry. We prepare our students to foray into these varied sectors of the hospitality industry through extensive skill training and experiential learning. At Avlon, we believe you can excel at any job role that you choose once your foundation of knowledge and expertise are set right. And this is exactly what we do at Avlon. We lay a firm foundation for our pupils to enable them to soar high in the skies of professional success. Our alumni have always been making us proud by finding their place in some of the top-notch companies operating on national and international levels. And, we are sure that our present and future students will keep bringing us similar glories by making their mark in the various segments of the hospitality industry.

How is the Aviation & Hospitality Industry Battling the COVID Effect?

The long fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has made the world come to a standstill. Attempts to contain the spread of the deadly virus had led governments across the world to announce lockdowns and travel restrictions, preventing the movement of people both inside the nation and out of it. And, even as the lockdown restrictions are being gradually eased in parts of the country, it seems like we are still quite far from returning to normalcy. In that sense, if there is one industry that has been the worst hit by the pandemic, it is definitely the hospitality and aviation industry.

So, what does this mean for this sector? Has the aviation and hospitality industry given in to the COVID effect and lost hope in front of the ongoing crisis? No! And we have multiple reasons to say that.

Surely, the aviation and hospitality industry has come face-to-face with these unforeseen times, but that has only motivated it to roll out extraordinary measures to offer continued services, with special attention to health and safety. In fact, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, we believe that the aviation and hospitality industry has always remained instrumental in strengthening the nation’s fight against the pandemic.

So, how exactly is the aviation and hospitality industry battling the pandemic impact and serving the nation at the same time? Let’s find out!

The Aviation and Hospitality Industry is Stepping Up to Serve the Nation

For us, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, a renowned aviation college in Kolkata, it feels like a moment of pride to see the sector rise to this occasion by working together for the greater good. The industry has shown its true commitment to hospitality and has dedicatedly stood on the forefront to help the nation fight the pandemic.

Many hotels have opened their doors to house medical staff and made the venue available for hospital beds. Chefs and teams involved in food service in hotels across the country have taken an active part in arranging free meals to the medical staff while putting themselves at risk for battling the crisis.

Moreover, it would not be an exaggeration to say that one of the greatest victories of the aviation and hospitality industry lies in the ‘Vande Bharat’ mission: an attempt to bring home over 14,800 nationals from twelve countries. Not only has our aviation sector successfully taken up this mission, but the fact that a number of top-notch hotels have allocated separate rooms for quarantining these passengers, also shows that the hospitality sector is ready to fulfil its commitments.

Renewed Attempts at Winning Over the Trust of the Customers

The fact that the relationship between the consumer and the brand begins by building trust is something that the hospitality and aviation industry has always understood and reflected in its work.

The sector has a keen realization that regaining customer confidence is the key step in bouncing back from the crisis. No wonder, strict hygiene and sanitary measures have already been implemented by the businesses in the aviation and hospitality sector, with new practices being introduced for monitoring and controlling the conditions in the work environment.

Cautionary safety and intensified sanitation and hygiene measures and practices have been put in place across airports, flights, and hotels to make sure that the customers can rely on the industry they invest their trust in.

An Opportunity to Re-evaluate the Varied Facets of the Business

One of the finest steps taken by the aviation and hospitality sector amid the ongoing crisis is to relook at the way business has been done until now. We have all accepted the fact that being a part of the sector is never going to be the same even after we come out of this pandemic situation. And it lies in acknowledging this very fact that makes this time as the perfect opportunity to act and prepare the sector and its staff for the times to come.

The current condition has made the industry focus on new business opportunities and models, such as human capital sharing platforms, better delivery concepts, and promoting staycations. In fact, the businesses operating in the sector have also used this time to focus on activities like social media strategies, outlining standard procedures for operating, security plans, and asset counts, which have been taking a backseat for quite a while now.

New Approaches and Measures to Ensure the Safety of Travelers Post Pandemic

The sector has already reached the planning stage for the measures to be taken for the travelers venturing out of their states or countries in the post-pandemic era.

Right from enhancing security measures to increasing the sanitation efforts at the venues, the new approach focuses on ensuring that the customers feel safe with traveling and accommodations. The focus is now being laid on offering the guarantee of health safety, along with ensuring the psychological assurance of wellbeing.

The Aviation and Hospitality Industry is All Set to Bounce Back Even Stronger

We will have to accept the fact that the industry is among the worst hit by the pandemic. But, it is also true that the aforementioned steps taken by the sector show that it’s ready to battle the crisis and bounce back to its previous glory. However, the new and evolved needs of the industry would need its professionals to embrace the new normal and advance accordingly.

In the times to come, there will be a prominent demand in the industry for professionals who are skilled enough to be unfazed by such challenges in the path. After all, the pandemic will pass, but many other new challenges in terms of serving the customers might arise in the future. COVID has shown the importance of having resilient and dedicated employees in the industry who can tackle any kind of crisis, and the businesses are now going to keep this factor in mind in their hiring initiatives.

If you are one of those ambitious minds who have always been willing to join the highly lucrative aviation and hospitality industry, this is the time when you can not only contribute to the profession but also the nation. As a leading hospitality management college in Kolkata and one of the pioneering educational institutes of the country, we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, are right here to arm you with the real-world skills and know-how. With our immense experience in preparing the young minds for the aviation and hospitality sector, we know what exactly it takes to thrive in the changing environment, and hence we leave no stones unturned in prepping up our students for the same.

With our industry-centric training and education, we have helped many students carve a robust career in the aviation and hospitality sector. We, at Avlon, are all geared up to continue shaping the careers of many more youngsters by imparting them with the knowledge, skills, and the best practices and standards to make their mark in the changing times ahead. So, use this time to enhance your skillset under our expert guidance, and get ready to make your career dreams come true.

The Booming Scope of Aviation and Hospitality in India

In the modern era of globalization, the aviation and hospitality industry has not only assumed greater significance, but is also gaining a place among the most lucrative career domains. No wonder, more and more individuals are preferring to work in the industry. However, as per recent reports, the career opportunities in the field far outweigh the availability of skilled professionals. It would be safe to say that this field of work is going to maintain a profitable status for the jobseekers in the years to come.

So, if you have the zeal to work across the globe, with a spirit to assist people with a smile, then aviation and hospitality can be the ideal profession for you. And, if you are still pondering over the scope of aviation and hospitality in the country, we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, the most renowned aviation training institute in Kolkata, would like to assure you that the sector is booming and the number of job positions and growth prospects are on the rise each year.

Let us explain the facts further by elaborating on the widening scope of aviation and hospitality in India.

Career prospects in the aviation and hospitality industry

As we mentioned earlier, the future looks bright for the aspirants of the aviation and hospitality industry in terms of varied job roles and lucrative pay packages. And, we have the numbers to support our statement. First off, the international players in the industry are ready to increase their presence in the country, and as per the recent report by IBEF, they are slated to account for 50 percent of shares by 2022. With the international names entering the field, the scope is widened greatly in terms of number of the job vacancies opening up for the future aspirants.

To top it off, when speaking specifically in terms of the aviation sector in the country, the Indian carriers are expected to increase their fleet sizes to at least 1,100 aircraft by 2027, and the freight traffic on the Indian airports is projected to cross 11.4 MT by 2032. Thus, the Indian airports will need more number of qualified professionals not just up in the air, but also on the ground to ensure that everything runs without a glitch. 

Right from managing the guests to handling the finest details of everyday operations, certified experts of aviation and hospitality are in-demand for diverse responsibilities in the field. The need is for you to rise up to the challenge and prepare yourself for the accomplished career path that lies ahead.

The top five job profiles in the aviation and hospitality industry

The job profiles in the aviation and hospitality industry are diverse, with several new roles opening up in recent years. Keeping all that in mind, we, at Avlon, present to you the top five job profiles in the field:

  1. Cabin crew/flight attendant: Airline cabin crew and flight attendants are responsible for the safety, comfort, and welfare of the passengers traveling on the aircraft during long-haul and short-haul flights. This is one of the most in-demand job profiles in the aviation industry.
  2. Airport ground staff: Airport ground staff includes passenger service agents who have the responsibility to uphold the smooth running of the group operations and offer superior customer service to the travelers. Ticketing and handling baggage claims are prime examples of their duties.
  3. Culinary managers: Dining experiences are an important part of air travel. The primary goal of a culinary manager is to make sure that the customers are pleased with the culinary delights served to them on the flight.
  4. Concierge: The responsibility of a concierge is to interact directly with the customers and provide them with varied services, such as booking a restaurant reservation or the tickets to a show, or providing a babysitter.
  5. Executive chefs: An executive chef has more of a managerial role that involves overseeing the food operations in venues that serve food. They supervise sous chefs, cooks, and other kitchen employees.

The earning potential of aviation and hospitality industry professionals

There is no denying the fact that a good salary structure and attractive pay packages are among the main draws for the aspirants looking to join the industry. As a matter of fact, even the entry-level salaries in the aviation and hospitality sectors are profitable enough, with the promise of better pay assured with increased experience and improved skillsets.

For instance, an entry-level flight attendant can expect to earn an average total compensation of nearly INR 400,000, with the salary figures reaching nearly INR 760,000 within five years in the profession. The same goes for an executive chef, whose average total compensation with less than one year of experience stands at around INR 425,000, and ideally goes up to more than INR 880,000 within five years.

These are only two instances of the salary prospects in the field. Even in other job profiles, you will note that the pay structure is pretty lucrative. Besides, these are not absolute figures, and as the demand for qualified experts increases in each of the job positions, you can expect these numbers to go even higher.

Let your career dreams turn into a reality with Avlon Shiksha Niketan

Though the opportunities are aplenty in the field, securing the job of your dreams needs you to truly stand out from the rest. After all, the top job providers in the field look for expert professionals who can enrich their business even further with their unique skillset. And, this is where we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, can help you out!

We are the only institution in its category, offering exclusive BBA certification in Aviation, Tourism, and Hospitality management: the three core sectors of the service industry and the fastest-growing employment sectors globally.

We, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, recognized as the Best Hospitality Management Institute in Kolkata, are affiliated under three renowned universities of the country – the University of North Bengal, Panchanan Barma University (PBU), and West Bengal State University (WBSU). We, through our BBA degree course, offer our students a holistic learning experience that helps them in making the most of the career prospects that lay in their path. Our education programs are focused on offering technical knowledge and practical skillsets to the young professionals to prepare them better for the professional experiences that await them in the near future.

So, come and join us at Avlon to turn your career dreams into a reality and continue the saga of accomplishments as led by our alumni.