A Matter of Convenience—The Future of Hospitality Parking

If there’s one recurrent theme in hospitality mobility and parking in the past few years, it’s this: the rules have been rewritten. Whether by COVID-19 or innovations in technology, the hospitality industry is embracing the new ways people travel and maximizing the resulting parking revenue.

Prior to the pandemic, hospitality was in a relatively stable state. Occupancy rates were high, and companies were doing all they could to bring people in and maximize revenue. In this state of status quo, parking and mobility amongst hotels, casinos, and resorts played the same relatively stagnant role as it always has—a means to an end.

Then came a swift, and dramatic, reset. With the pandemic sending the industry back years, regular operations were flipped upside-down. Suddenly, a staff of 125 was cut to 35, and general managers were directing and working on front desk duty—everyone was doing what they could to stay afloat.

As we emerge and recover toward a new normal, we’re finding that an all-familiar proverb has been tested and proven correct—necessity is indeed the mother of innovation. Hospitality managers in facilities of all qualities have looked to other sources of revenue and incentives to encourage stays while reexamining the role of parking. Read below to learn what to consider when applying the best parking and mobility practices to your hotel or resort.

Double Down on Valet

Drive-in rates, which indicate guests that arrive at hotels and resorts in their own vehicles, are at the highest in years—a byproduct of the pandemic. This statistic is very valuable and telling to hospitality managers. A high drive-in rate can mean the opportunity to push new experiences and services to those not traveling by cab or public transit. It can also mean partnerships with other destinations that are more easily accessible by someone’s own or rented vehicle. Moving forward, perhaps one of the largest opportunities in parking and mobility is the resurfacing of valet service.

With more people than usual electing to travel in their own vehicles, hospitality leaders can leverage their valet. However, to do so, managers need to ensure their valet uses the latest technology. The latest technology allows for a unique, touchless valet experience. Guests should be able to reserve a valet ticket and call for their vehicle with the push of a button on their phone, and have their vehicle waiting for them when they leave the building. Consider ensuring that your valet service ticks the latest boxes in order to take advantage of high drive rates and earn more revenue. If you’re going the FLASH route, our valet system is the only one in the industry that integrates fully with our PARCS software, offering a truly modern and cloud-born 21st-century operation that allows for a seamless and centralized backend experience.

Ensure the Parking Journey is Touchless

Historically, the parking experience was more of an afterthought in the guest mobility journey. Higher drive-in rates and a greater need for safety have changed this. The main consideration on every manager’s checklist is to ensure their parking technology reflects trends towards touchless options.

Aside from valet, there are other touchless options to consider when processing parking. Payments should ideally be contactless and include tap-to-pay technology to be truly convenient. Your parking systems would also benefit by being integrated into your overall check-in services so that guests can take care of their transactions in one stroke—an example of a seamless, touchless check-in experience.

Historically, the parking experience was more of an afterthought in the guest mobility journey. Higher drive-in rates and a greater need for safety have changed this.

Explore and Connect to Out-of-the-Box Mobility Services

As a hospitality manager, you might very well be trying to discover new ways to reinvent yourself. This path can be tricky as you must prioritize the guest experience and pay attention to forward-bounding strides of innovation. However, this is an opportunity in the making. If you can create a more convenient and straightforward journey for your guests, you’ll eliminate the frustration that arises from them having too many choices and even find new revenue streams in the process. It all stems from making your guests happy.

The future, successful hospitality business provides mobility convenience in all forms. Some leading hotels and resorts have already introduced micro-mobility services such as scooter rentals. Consider a similar option and take it a step further by moving your scooter fleet to a more visible front area of your hotel, so it’s used more. And with EV charging playing a larger role, hotels should consider installing additional charging systems for convenience and to match growing drive-in rates. 

And yet, the critical question hospitality managers should continue to ask themselves is: “What else can we do?

The answers have been innovative. Hotels are exploring out-of-the-box services that truly test the range of what mobility entails. Dog walking reservations are a unique example. Other examples involve restructuring the ways they normally approach parking solutions to find new revenue. When it comes to EV charging, consider introducing charging as part of your valet service instead of in self-parking areas. Your valet can then actively rotate fully charged cars, so you’re earning more charging revenue due to efficient turnover.

Connecting to your local public transit system is also an area for unique partnerships. Think about how you can work with your local transit to include travel vouchers in your rate packages. The goal is to provide your guest with every travel and mobility option they might need to facilitate their travels—and to do it centrally from your services.

Look to Cloud Software for Integrated Mobility Solutions

If you’ve thought of your parking service as separate from your other mobility services, we’re happy to introduce you to the full potential of cloud-based mobility. As more hotels are switching to cloud-based software, they realize the power it has to connect all their services and stay in touch with smart city and mobility innovations across the country. With FLASH, being part of the cloud ensures constant upgrades and updates as soon as they’re released, and the option to add on new services with a click of a button, because the capabilities are already built-in.

Being part of a cloud-based enterprise means full integrations with services along the mobility customer journey. It means connections with last-mile services like ride-share or public transit within the same systems you use to handle your valet. In our case, our recent merger with the Arrive platform includes last-mile parking software such as ParkWhiz. Imagine your guest can get to you, use your valet, and get vouchers for public transit in one software system and service. You’re now introducing a seamless experience that keeps people within your hospitality ecosystem. That’s the power of mobility integrations in hospitality.

If you have deeper visibility into how people are electing to get to you and their travel habits, you can now expand your solutions to match their needs and desires.

Leverage Your Data to Make Impactful Decisions

Here’s the other benefit of keeping people within your mobility ecosystem: you now have data that shows a journey from start to finish. If you have deeper visibility into how people are electing to get to you and their travel habits, you can now expand your solutions to match their needs and desires.

Imagine the possibilities of connecting your reservation system with your mobility platform. You can now connect the dots between different types of guests and what forms of travel they take, as well as where they go during their stay (if they use micro-mobility options or use a public transit voucher that’s integrated with your packages). This data is invaluable to optimizing your services to reflect people’s behaviors. A fragmented or outdated software platform won’t bridge information between data points—but a cloud-based mobility software can.

Hospitality is in an exciting stage of renewal. Guests are aching to return to a life that exists beyond four walls. Your parking and mobility solutions should help them in that journey as they stay with you.

To learn more about what a FLASH hospitality solution can look like, visit here and discover how we can help.

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