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Access control: Still ‘key’ in hospitality

Access control: Still ‘key’ in hospitality
​We’ve reported on how video surveillance and analytics can benefit hospitality. Yet another technology that can’t be ignored is access control, which has various benefits and can complement well with video surveillance in hotels.
We’ve reported on how video surveillance and analytics can benefit hospitality, especially in the post-COVID era. Yet another technology that can’t be ignored is access control, which has various benefits and can complement well with video surveillance in hotels. This article looks at how.
Needless to say, the hospitality industry is experiencing a renaissance as COVID fades. Amid this renaissance, hotels must provide a secure and safe environment for guests and offer them a great customer experience. This is where security can come in to help.
“Hotels face more challenges than ever, and that fact requires stakeholders to make the extra effort to gain a better understanding of specific market needs. At the same time, the challenges today's hotel security professionals face must be clearly understood as to how technology can best address these issues,” said John Rezzonico, CEO of Edge360. “Technology plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of the security function, primarily since physical security systems – which used to be standalone devices that could not be connected with other systems or networks without complex integration – now reside on the IT backbone. This change has impacted the use of video, extending it to use cases beyond security and safety.”
 “Hotels and other institutions in the hospitality industry are on the lookout for security solutions that address the threats that customers face when traveling, especially when it comes to physical threats, financial threats, and terrorism. Securing customers while they reside on hotel premises is priority one, and solutions that address these concerns are coveted by the market,” said Scot Sturges, Director of Business Development for North America at ACRE.
Especially, access control can play a key role. “The hospitality sector has been experiencing a shift towards automation and low-contact solutions, which has left many businesses seeking systems with integrated security solutions. Access control already plays a major role in day-to-day hotel management, and the challenge of delivering an all-in-one package that is compatible with on-site security is the next step for the hospitality industry,” Sturges said.
Below we take a look at how access control can benefit hospitality operators.

Unauthorized access restricted

Needless to say, there are certain areas in the hotel that are restricted to regular guests or visitors. Sometime even entire floors are off-limits to those who are unauthorized. Conventionally, these areas are guarded by personnel or security guards. Now, access control solutions in the form of RFID cards and even biometrics can do the job. An access control system with elevator control can also restrict certain floors to unauthorized individuals

Centralized control

This is one of the biggest benefits of access control in hospitality. Most hotel chains nowadays operate as franchises with operations across the globe. Today’s access control systems allow operators to centrally monitor different branches. They can also get instant alerts should something happen at one of the branches. This makes operators’ job much easier.

Operations/management efficiency

According to Sturges, access control has played a significant role in the day-to-day operations of the hospitality industry for decades, and that is not going to change anytime soon. “Businesses in the industry are constantly looking for ways to improve upon previous technologies (access cards, card readers, etc.) to improve efficiency and customer safety, and low-contact solutions are expected to increase in demand following the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

Complementing video surveillance

Further, access control can complement video surveillance to benefit hotel operators. “When it comes to identifying threats to guests and staff, video surveillance is a must. However, when it comes to tracking or controlling threats, a state-of-the-art access control solution is ideal. After all, the goal is to keep threats away from guests and staff,” Sturges said.
And according to Sturges, demand for access control in hospitality is only set to grow post-COVID.
“Access control has already been a major part of the hotels and hospitality industry for many years, so we can expect to see an even bigger demand for access control going forward as COVID-19 continues to fade. According to recent studies the demand for access control in various sectors, including hospitality, is growing steadily at an annual rate of 8.7 percent, and as the world recovers from the pandemic and its effects on the hospitality industry, we will likely see an increase in demand for access control solutions,” he said.

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