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  • Writer's pictureRyan Haynes

IHTF 2023 - How Accor is addressing its digital check-in

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

We are joined by Roger Tabbal, VP Global Guest Technology & Innovation – Tech for Hotels from Accor to discuss the hotel brand's approach to the customer journey. At IHTF 2023 he will be presenting The evolution of digital check-ins and key cards: What exactly do our guests want?


In our conversation we tackle:


The approach to the guest journey

Developing the criteria

Key criteria when identifying the system and functionality

The value from IHTF

What we will learn from Roger at the event


Programme Notes


Ryan Haynes:

Hello and welcome to Travel Market Life. For the pre-IHTF 2023 conversations, are we speaking to executives that are going to be giving presentations and some of the sponsors about what to look forward to at this year's event? We're going to be talking to Roger Tab, VP of Global Guest Technology and Innovation at Accor, who'll be presenting on the topic, the evolution of digital check-ins and key cards. What exactly do our guests want.


Ryan Haynes:

Joining me right now is Roger Tabbal, who is the VP of Global Guest Technology and Innovation at our core. Thanks ever so much for joining me, Roger. You are going to be talking about the digital check-in experience, which we've had huge changes over the last few years around digitalization and how guests really engage with the hotel as they arrive. Tell us a bit about the journey that Accor has been through to implement digital check-in across the portfolio.


Roger Tabbal:

Yeah. First of all, thanks Ryan. I'm very excited to attend the IHTF and we are for sure will have a lot of exchange and feedback during the session. So, to answer your question shortly on digital check-in, we've been the, so the guest journey was broadly defined to include a lot of interactions with the hotel after booking and not just the online check-in. And this includes upselling pre-registration activities within the hotel or surrounding areas, requests to hotel staff, checkout and so on.


Ryan Haynes:

How did you develop that strategy? And I guess the other thing is you've got digital check-in. How much further have you got to really get that full customer journey strategy in place?


Roger Tabbal:

Very good question, Ryan. So, the most important for us is in tech are digitalization and frictionless interaction. And you know, now that, that the writing digital maturity across all industries is also reshaping the expectation. Guests no more, no, no longer compare the experiences with only the direct revels. They, they're creating the seamless end-to-end journey within hospitality that guests have to expect from other industries increasing depending on technology and data in the hotels. We will still at, I think in my opinion, we are still at the beginning of the journey. There is a lot ahead of us to do in on, on this, on this, on this topic, but we are, we are heading there, and we are reaching there slowly.


Roger Tabbal:

So that's my opinion on, and the strategies that we follow. Just to add the last point is the cloud and the most important for us, whatever we do, we do it cloud based. So that's the core strategy and vision toward 2025 where we move all our core applications to the cloud. So whether we do the online check-in or other solutions, everything we do is a cloud-based solution.


Ryan Haynes:

Lovely, thank you. And I mean, I spoke to your colleague Kevin Vassout last year who was at the IHTF 2022, and he was talking about your PMs strategy and that necessity, as you say, to be on the cloud and have your technology infrastructure all well integrated and connected throughout the properties. Now, when it comes to selecting the systems that you need as part of the customer journey, what are the key criteria and how do you identify the right partners for yourself?


Roger Tabbal:

Normally we work in a corporation with our digital factory team. So, we as in tech and there are digital factories. So, both of us work on assessing on evaluating all the vendors that we work with. This is in brief, I will share more details during the event for sure, just to keep a little bit of excitement.


Ryan Haynes:

Absolutely. I think that it's about the presentation, what we're going to get at IHTF in Vienna this year.


Roger Tabbal:

For the presentation that I'm going to use, I'm going to little bit give a flavour of what Accor is doing in terms of digitalizing the guest journey. We have a core key project, which we started in thousand 20, and we have really sailed well in this, we have a lot of hotels already using it, and we have a big plan to continue the rest of the rollout and deployment. Also, would be sharing some insights on some prototypes and proof of concept that we are running without, of course, without breaking confidentiality or any leaking any data from a project, which has not been officially announced.


Roger Tabbal:

But I will try to give you some insight on this one. What will be the value during the IHTF? First of all, for sure, meeting new people, discussing hospitality innovation topics and find solutions for challenges as we do with every event where we meet with our counterparts and colleagues and friends and even partners and vendors. We talk about innovations, we talk about challenges as well, and we, we talk together about how we can find solutions for this, for these, for these problems. Also, it'll help us to get insight into the future direction of the industry and how technology is transforming the hotel industry by enhancing guest experience to increase revenue and operation efficiency.


Ryan Haynes:

Know you're, you're giving me something that a taste on and to savour up until the end of March when we get to meet in person there and you are so right Roger. The level of the presentations, equality, and the insight that you get is really phenomenal because you know, you are speaking to your colleagues, you are hearing from your colleagues who've actually implemented a lot of these strategies, identified new technologies and tech stacks and really moved forward in the digitalization agenda. So, if I got as much as I got from last year, I think this year is, is certainly going to be incredibly insightful. I look forward to you sharing a little bit more than you've been able to share with us so far today.


Ryan Haynes:

Will


Roger Tabbal:

Do for sure. I promise I will do it. Hope it's not too cold in Vienna.


Ryan Haynes:

Let's hope not. Roger, thank you ever so much for joining me today.


Roger Tabbal:

Thank you so much, Ryan.


Ryan Haynes:

This year's IHTF is already shaping up to have a fantastic program with a line up of speakers from some of the most renowned and recognized hotel brands and portfolios across the world. These include Kempinski Palace, Nordic Choice Hotels, Melia Hotels, Radisson, Best Western Design Hotels amongst many, many others across the three day event. So, we look forward to seeing you there or catching up on the content on the LinkedIn live show on the event, as well as a podcast following. Thanks for listening, I'm your host, Ryan Haynes.


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