Internet Travel Monitor - Marketing, Research & Tech

April 18, 2018

How Wearable Technology Is Changing Market Research in the Hospitality Industry

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Scuba diving and zip lines aren’t the only “firsts” that tourists experience on a cruise. Increasingly, many cruise lines are handing out wearable technology to guests that go in a pocket, around a neck, or on a wrist. And it’s not stopping there. Other hospitality brands are looking into the technology, including hotel resorts, ski resorts and amusement parks.

Hospitality Uses for Wearable Tech

Wearables can interact with a downloadable app to customize a guest’s experience. On the surface, there are many benefits to travelers who sport a wearable to help enhance their trip.

Cruise Lines
  • Order drinks or make dinner plans anywhere on the ship
  • Get information on line wait times for events
  • Navigate the ship with an interactive map
  • Save their onboard preferences for the next trip
  • Shop from anywhere on the ship
  • See alerts of onboard entertainment and activities
  • Manage photos

Amusement Parks
  • Enter and exit attractions more quickly with the wearable as the park pass
  • Check into rides and attractions
  • Connect to cloud photos
  • Navigate different areas of the park
  • Charge food and drinks

Hotels/Resorts
  • Use the wearable as a resort pass
  • Use the wearable as a keycard to unlock room doors
  • Access to resort amenities like fitness rooms and pools
  • Bypass the front desk for check in and go directly to the room
  • Order room service from anywhere on the resort

Ski Resorts
  • Use the wearable as a lift pass
  • Real-time notifications of lift-line times
  • Get weather reports
  • Learn about lift closures and run conditions
  • Call ski patrol in the event of an accident


Wearables for Market Research

Not only do wearables improve the experience for guests, they also have the potential to improve the experience for the many market researchers behind the scenes who are trying to gather meaningful guest insights.

Wearables can provide a much-needed solution to many of the market research challenges the hospitality industry faces, such as non-response bias and sending feedback surveys too long after a trip when many guests have a hard time remembering details of what went right or wrong.

Wearables create a connection point between the guest and the brand “in the moment” and in-line with important moments in the guest’s day. When a cruise guest uses his app and wearable to order a cocktail on the Lido Deck, he could answer a one-question survey on your concept for a new menu item. As an amusement park guest is waiting in the auditorium for a show to start, she could take a 30-second survey on her preferred start times for park shows. When a hotel guest is about to check out of her room, she can use her wearable to provide a fast NPS rating of her stay. Capturing feedback in the moment produces much richer feedback data, and wearables make this type of data much more accessible to market researchers.

Qualtrics Study on Wearables in Hospitality

Qualtrics surveyed 1,600 US adults to understand their attitudes and preferences regarding wearable technology in hospitality settings.

Cruise Key takeaways:

The top uses guests would put on a wearable for a cruise:
  • Info about food line wait times (47%)
  • Wearable is boarding pass (46%
  • Info about activities (42%)
  • Locate friends and family on ship (41%)
  • Open cabin door (38%)

Least popular reasons for wearables on a cruise:
  • Notify when you have had too much to drink (7%)
  • Allow staff to call you by name (15%)

56% of guests who have worn a wearable on a ship expected it to enhance their experience a great deal. 47% said it actually enhanced their experience a great deal.

Amusement Park Key takeaways:

The top uses guests would put on a wearable for an amusement park:
  • Info about ride wait times (69%)
  • Wearable is park pass (58%)
  • Make line reservations (49%)
  • Info about showtimes (48%)
  • Info about upcoming activities (47%)

48% of amusement park guests have worn a wearable
  • 28% of guests who have worn a wearable expected it to enhance their experience a great deal. 33% said it actually enhanced their experience a great deal.

Hotel Resort Key Takeaways

The top uses guests would put on a wearable at a hotel resort:
  • Wearable is room key (57%)
  • Make dinner reservations (40%)
  • Purchase food and merchandise (38%)
  • Info about upcoming activities (36%)
  • Info about resort services (30%)
  • Staff knows when you leave for room cleaning (28%)

Least popular reasons for wearables at a hotel resort:
  • Staff can call you by name
  • See where friends/family are at the hotel

20% of hotel guests say they have worn a wearable at a hotel resort.

30% of guests who have worn a wearable expected it to enhance their experience a great deal. 27% said it actually enhanced their experience a great deal.

Ski Resort Key takeaways:

The top uses guests would put on a wearable at a ski resort:
  • Info about lift line wait lines (67%)
  • Info about ski run conditions (67%)
  • Wearable is lift pass (64%)
  • Info about weather conditions (59%)
  • Wearable can call ski patrol for help (51%)

Least popular reasons for wearables at a ski resort:
  • Info about resort services
  • Info about activities

50% of guests who have worn a wearable expected it to enhance their experience a great deal. 30% said it actually did enhance their experience.


Copyright 2018 Qualtrics. All rights reserved. From https://www.qualtrics.com. By Justin Ethington.
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