A digital approach to increasing value in the hospitality sector.


As digital transformation continues to affect all industries, businesses need to stay ahead of the curve and see where they can use the latest technology to differentiate their offerings from their competitors. This is particularly true for the hospitality sector, with thousands of accommodation providers and disruptors fighting for the chance to impress relaxation seekers and travellers, and outbid competitors by offering the best value proposition.

There are many ways for hospitality businesses to use technology to improve their offerings, but one of the easiest is by incorporating innovative TVs and digital signage into their premises. This solves two problems for hospitality businesses. Smarter TVs allow guests to watch what they want, when they want, adding to your accommodation’s value proposition. Digital signage also offers a better way of communicating with guests. At home, we’re streaming the content we want to see on demand, and we’re relying on printers less and less. Consumers now expect the same experience from accommodation establishments.

The benefits of going digital

We’re seeing an increasing desire by hotels to share information with guests. This might include messages for the guests, activity lists, and all hotel information that’s traditionally found in the “black binder” next to the bed.  Hotels may also need to share general wayfinding information, conference itineraries and instructions, and restaurant and menu details. It’s essential that this information is up to date. If printed material is used, some of the information must be reprinted and redistributed daily. Often this comes at a considerable cost in printing materials and the staff required to implement it, not to mention the cost of having outdated information in circulation. This can annoy or confuse guests, making them less likely to return and increasing pressure on staff, who then have to field more guest queries.

Presenting information digitally, either on TVs in hotel rooms or on screens in general areas, does away with the need to reprint information daily. These messages can be updated all at once in an instant. If you have 20 rooms, staff won’t have to switch out 20 outdated activity lists, as someone can do it once online without wasting all that time, effort, and paper. The messaging function on a hotel TV can even be used to advertise happy hour, restaurant specials, or other income-generating activities in the form of an on-screen flash message or ticker tape message.

Choosing the right display

For guests who have become accustomed to streaming content on Netflix or YouTube, hotel owners can give them a taste of home by choosing a TV that can give them access to their accounts.

LG’s innovative 4K UHD Hospitality TV with Pro:Centric Direct is a major contender for best TV in the hospitality sector. It not only boasts a stylish design and a top-quality 4K Ultra HD resolution screen, but it also comes with unique features valued in hospitality. Pro:Centric Direct makes Netflix, YouTube, and a free weather app available to guests. The stable Linux-based platform is fully customisable, so hotels can have their own look and feel on their TVs, all controlled from a single interface, making it a cost-effective, reliable, and stylish solution. Hospitality users love the once-off license fee and the grouping, messaging, and data collection functions.

One Sandton hotel has installed over 700 of these TVs using just one LG Pro:Centric server, enabling Netflix and YouTube across the entire network with a once-off software license. Another hotel group runs more than 800 TVs off one server for three different hotels. LG’s Grouping feature means a single server using LG Pro:Centric Direct Software can create three different Hotel Guest User Interfaces, meaning that each hotel has its own look and feel, all from a single server at the cost of one license (once-off per TV).

TVs specially designed for the industry are a valuable investment for hotels and other hospitality players who are focussed on using technology to improve their competitiveness and value proposition. A designed-for-purpose TV like the LG 4K Ultra HD resolution Pro:Centric Direct has the potential to save staff time, decrease printing costs, and improve the guest experience.

By Tyrone Young, Hospitality Sales at LG South Africa