A report from last year stated that close to 70 percent of people now use voice search to help research and plan their trips. That number will only rise, and we can expect the trend to grow in 2019 and beyond.

For hotels and related businesses, this presents an immense opportunity as voice can open up a whole new era of marketing for them. Savvy brands have already started investing in voice technology, and we can expect to see innovative customer experiences coming our way soon.

Marketers in the hospitality segment must start working on long-tail keywords to facilitate better voice search. It is also time to update all information online and keep their contacts updated to optimize their brands via voice technology.

We live in a fast-paced digital age, but perhaps no technology has been adopted as fast as voice technology has been. Reports state that 53 percent of U.S. adults use a voice assistant each month and a greater percentage of households now have smart speakers.

Every industry is being shaken up by voice, hospitality more so than others. Amazon’s introduction of Alexa for Hospitality is a testament to the importance of voice for this sector.

So how does voice affect hospitality?

Smart hotels of the future will have voice-enabled customer service that will allow guests to communicate in internet of things-enabled rooms using natural, normal speech. This technology will integrate solutions for both guests and staff seamlessly and lay the foundation for improved and more personalized guest experiences.

Voice solutions allow guests to customize their room's features, add services and even get data-driven personalized recommendations based on their tastes. Voice assistants can recognize loyalty status and store guest preferences for future stays. Hyper-personalized experiences are here to stay and the technology that enables this is a good investment.

Though it sounds quite fantastic, the rising popularity of voice technology lies in its simplicity. At its core, it is a natural human interface. We already know how to use it. It is easier than learning to write, and it is simple enough for children to use as well. By simplifying the guest experience, it has the power to increase the satisfaction rate among users.

Smart hotels have seen guests use voice to control the thermostat, ask for restaurant recommendations and other local information, request wake up calls, and even order in-room dining. Almost 20 percent of potential hotel guests already interact with voice daily. They can now use voice to control the lights, drapes, television, and set “do not disturb” notifications.

Fifty-nine percent of hoteliers agree that while voice is a great marketing and customer service tool, it is a good investment to improve operational efficiencies as well. They think the technology could play a valuable role in reducing labor costs, increasing property revenues and streamlining operations.

Voice technologies like natural language processing (NLP) will augment this adoption. Only 7 percent of hoteliers reportedly had a voice strategy in place in 2018. Others must begin to implement a voice strategy in 2019 if they haven’t started already.