The Role of Technology in Shaping the Hotel Industry - Featured Article

The requirements of the modern-day guest are ever-changing, especially when it comes to technological demands where connectivity is the name of the game. The Hoteliers Information Technology Association of the Philippines (HITAP), under the leadership of its current president, Rafael Zacarias, recognizes this. This is why the organization is consistently innovating to cater to the needs of the ‘always-on’ society.

Perceiving the need to unite all hotel IT managers in the Philippines under an association, Zacarias and his co-founders established HITAP in March 2000. As the president of a leading IT organization, not to mention his extensive expertise gained for almost two decades in the hospitality business, much is expected from Zacarias, particularly on giving sound advice about technological issues and matters. 

He considers his millennial mindset as an important trait in future-proofing the industry, as most of the guests in hotels are and will be millennials. In addition, Zacarias emphasized the importance of having a stable internet connection in hotels. 

“It’s like a hotel without electricity. Internet runs a hotel business. Internet is part of our lives and we can’t live without it,” he said. Given the fast pace of society, people try to be as connected as possible wherever they go, and hotels should keep up with the demands of their patrons by providing a smart and personalized guest experience.

But he believes that hotels should not rely on advanced technology alone. Zacarias gives two factors when choosing a hotel based on a guest’s perspective, “All hotels have the same type of rooms, but what separates one from the other is their service and technology. Even though your service is top-notch but your wi-fi signal is only 5 kilobytes, they will not go to your hotel. If  you are able to meet both criteria, you are very sure you will make business.”

Zacarias said that this demand could be met if hotels improve or invest on three things: IT infrastructure, security, and technology. He reiterates this fact not only to his HITAP members but to his colleagues and stakeholders in Discovery Hospitality Corporation where he is the Assistant Vice President and Head of Information Technology.

This is the reason HITAP exists. Members could share the latest trends in technology with each other and recommend the best IT providers or vendors. One of their reliable partners is Eastern Communications, who has been with them for almost two decades. According to Zacarias, they chose Eastern Communications because of their incomparable quality of service.

Eastern Communications is the first communications service provider in the Philippines. In fact, they were contracted by the Spanish government to provide the country’s first telegraphic services. That was over a century ago, and today they have evolved into a full service provider of world class telecommunication services like Internet, Data, Voice, and Managed Services.

As one of the premier telecommunications companies in the country, Eastern Communications was able to witness how technology has helped businesses thrive and this has become even more true as we enter the digital age. Through its thrust of being both “High Tech” and “High Touch,” Eastern Communications is committed to helping businesses of all sizes, including hospitality, reap the benefits of providing a strong connection to the public with guidance from an industry association like HITAP.

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