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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The evolution of computers is particularly attractive to depict since the current technology trend is effective and efficient through it. The hospitality outfits have widely adopted modern technology to reduce costs, enhance operational efficiency, and most importantly to improve service quality and customer experience. The link of computer to modern equipment that is used in hospitality outfits cannot be overemphasized. This is because the integration of computer to these equipment will help facilitate efficiency. Some of this equipment includes phones, emergency lighting, website, internet, automatic washing machine, microwave, drink dispensers, smart card doors, air conditions satellite etc. Singh and Kasavana (2005) predicted that future modern technology applications will probably rely on computer such as wireless infrastructure, and that online purchasing with cashless payments will become more commonplace. Providing services at the destination, now that mobile phones have become a necessity in this era of wireless communication (Langelund, 2007), cultural tourism has reacted by introducing multimedia museum guides that use mobile device screens to enhance the tourist experience (Stock, & Zancanaro, 2005). Mobile computers will allow the personalization of services according to preferences, language skills, and depth of information required. Hence, Buhalis and O’Connor (2005) further suggested that e-tourism in the future will be focused on consumer-centric technologies, and that organizations need to adopt modern technology to be able to offer this level of service and remain competitive and innovative.
A good recommender system should merge trust, exploratory browsing, and personal factors to suggest suitable solutions that will meet personal criteria and preferences. Semantic web technology could be used to create a tourism information system that allows tourists to extract the necessary data through query management facilities (Bergamaschi etal, 2005). Knowledge management of this type would enable the lodging industry to centralize their application system and would allow tourists to locate their required destination information in a convenient and easy way (Pyo, 2005).
Websites are incredibly important, mission critical, and cost effective marketing tools for businesses in hospitality outfits. Having a good website not only generates more business opportunities, but also enhances a company’s image and supports the interactivity with both institutional and individual customers. Tourists expect to find functional information, education information, and emotional information on heritage websites (Poria & Gvili, 2006), and such websites should therefore be customized in accordance with tourist perceptions of the site in relation to their own heritage.
The face of innovation in modern technology is continually changing. The hospitality outfit needs to take a proactive stance in implementing technological advances, while continually striving to build levels of service quality and guest loyalty (Magnini etal, 2011). Accompanying the technological revolution trends there are many new opportunities and challenges for the hospitality outfit. In the hospitality outfit, global industry information is its life-blood and technology has become fundamental to the ability of the industry to operate effectively and competitively. Poon (2013) suggests that the whole system of modern technology is being rapidly diffused throughout the Hospitality industry and no player will escape the impact of modern technology. Tapping into customers needs through the use of modern technology can be instrumental in building loyalty and gaining competitive advantage (Piccoli, 2012).
Hospitality outfits are continually competing for employees, locations, and more recently information about customers. As more people are using the Internet there is a high amount of information that is being captured on web server logs (Garver, 2012). Proper extraction of this information coupled with high levels of service is what will help the Hospitality industry to build competitive advantage in a troubled economy. An organizations ability to take advantage of external environmental factors will help the firm sustain and grow in economically challenging times. Piccoli etal, (2011) stated that the hospitality organizations need to structure the way they think around how customers think and act. By accomplishing a customer-centered focus, companies will be able to highlight their strengths and highlight opportunities for improvement.
The computer industry has grown to the point that computers affect the lives of almost everyone especially in the advanced nations. It is slowly but definitely becoming an important part of our lives. Business, industry and government would not be able to operate today without modern technology. Clearly, technology is the key driver of change, for this change to be beneficial, the use of modern technology should be business driven to meet a well defined business needs, hence boosting its effect on general business performance in the Hospitality outfit. There is no doubt that modern technology would have a major role to play in hospitality outfits.
Therefore, it is against this background that the study is focused on the role of modern technology in the management of hospitality outfit using White leaf Hotels and Zodiac Hotels Enugu as a case study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Modern technology has transformed distribution of the Hospitality outfit products to form an electronic market-place where access to information is instantly achievable. Principals and consumers continue to experience unprecedented interactivity. The dramatic ongoing development of modern technology has resulted in the re-engineering of the entire production and distribution process for Hospitality outfit products. As a consequence of this technological explosion, the packaging of Hospitality outfit is becoming much more individualistic, leading inevitably to a certain degree of channel disintermediation, a process that will offer new opportunities and threats to all Hospitality organizations.
The roles of modern technology cannot be overemphasized. For instance in White leaf Hotels Enugu and Zodiac Hotels Enugu the ability of computers to store, process, manipulate and distribute information has greatly improved the efficiency of products services. By releasing staff time from the ordinary paper-pushing functions within the hotels, modern technology can greatly enhance the opportunities for staff utilization in the quality of service. However, the use of modern technology in these hotels can be improved in order to enhance competitive advantage in the hospitality industry. Hence, this work intends to bridge the gap between inefficient use and efficient use of modern technology in these hotels by highlighting roles of modern technology which might not be explore in these hotels.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The general objective of the work is to study the role of modern technology in the management of Hospitality outfit. Therefore, the specific objectives are as follows;
1. To examine the effects of modern technology in the management of hospitality outfit.
2. To investigate the roles of modern technology in the management of hospitality outfit.
3. To determine whether modern technology created new strategic choices and opportunities for hospitality outfits.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What effects do modern technology has in management of hospitality outfit?
2. What are the roles of modern technology in the management of hospitality outfit?
3. Does modern technology create new strategic choices and opportunities for hospitality outfits?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the study cannot be overemphasized. Hence, the roles of modern technology in the hospitality outfits cannot be overlooked. Market wisdom today suggests that hospitality companies must embrace technology to compete against traditional competitors, as well as entrants that build their businesses with the latest technology. In this changing environment, new models of distribution must be designed to lead the charge. A strategic information management function should facilitate the business mission of its enterprise through managed information, managed processes, and managed Information Technology (IT) which are possible with the use of modern technology.
Again, current applications of computer technology in the hospitality outfits can be grouped into three main areas, operational, guest services and management information. The overall functionality of these applications is similar across a range of different hospitality organizations though the technology used to support them may vary. Large, city-centre hotels, for instance, tend to use minicomputers for their property management system (PMS) work. Microcomputers are employed elsewhere.
The diffusion of the system of information technologies in hospitality outfit will increase the efficiency, quality and flexibility with which travel services are supplied. It has already led to the generation of new services, such as online brochures and interactive videotext. Technology has the greatest impact on the marketing and distribution of travel but leaves relatively untouched the human-intensive areas of guest-host relations and supplier-consumer relationships. Modern technology applied to the hospitality outfit will increase the efficiency and quality of services provided and leads to new combinations of hospitality services.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research is centered on the roles of modern technology in the management of hospitality outfit. The scope is limited to White Leaf hotels and Zodiac Hotels Enugu
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The under listed were the problems encountered in carrying out this research work.
i. Time: The research was carried out when the available time had to be divided as equally as possible in order to carryout other academic matter, these other matter did place much demand on the researcher.
ii. Fund: This very popular limitation in research was not exempted. Such an empirical and technical study demanded a lot of und. For its immediate success much of the finance in question was expended on transportation, other needed materials and most especially, on internet browsing which involved subsequent printings coupled with endless hours spent on the internet seeking, asking, searching (for its relevance to the study) and financing.
iii. Uncooperative attitude: It was quite difficult for the researcher to get enough data for a needed and exhaustive study. The organizations itself had quiet a few numbers of unfriendly and uncooperative employees “ who had better and more important things to do”. This not only emanated from employees but also the modern technology equipment, for sometimes the server was done. Besides, some of the available information that should have been useful to this study was labeled as very confidential and not for public usage.
Furthermore, extensive studies have not been carried out in this respect in White leaf hotels and Zodiac Hotels Enugu. Consequently, the researcher had to depend on rather fall back on the limited data collected through primary and secondary sources for the study.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Hospitality Outfit: This is an organizes that renders food and beverages, accommodations, tourism entertainment products and services to guests.
Information: This is the processed data in a form in which it is meaningful for purposes of planning, operating. Operating and control of a business.
Modern technology: It is the study or use of electronic equipment especially computers for storing, analyzing and distributing information of all kinds including words, numbers and pictures.
Organization: This is a group of people working together to achieve a common goal.
Automation: These are the modern office equipments that are used in today’s office environments such as computers, fax machine, etc.
Computers: This is electronic processes the input and brings out result as an output.
Data processing: This consists of those activities concerned with the systematic recording, arranging, computing, displaying and printing of detail relating to business transactions.
Electronic business (E – business): It is the use of internet technologies to improve and transform key business process.
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