Over the next few months, we’ll explore the challenges today’s hotel sector faces and how technology is used to address those needs. In part one of this series, we’ll provide an overview of the hotel security industry: the background, expanding threat landscape and use of video surveillance technologies as a viable security solution.
As the hospitality industry is constantly evolving, so are the efforts to maintain the safety and security of individual hotels and hotel chains. Although security started mainly as a property protection function focused on reducing theft and loss, it has broadened to include protection from several types of threats, ranging from fraud and malfeasance, to terrorism, and response to major events including natural and man-made disasters.
Because hotels are not required to report incidents, there is limited public data regarding the safety and security of these properties. However, it’s still clear that threats exist in hotels and resorts: A 2009 study that examined crimes reported by 64 Miami Beach hotels to the Miami Beach Police Department showed that theft is a chief problem, with nearly half of the 756 reported crimes being thefts.
Even though reporting is not mandatory, the hospitality segment is still very focused on ensuring a safe environment for those inside the facility. A number of associations and certification programs exist to encourage industry professionals to further their education in hotel security, customer service and other areas. The American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) provides industry leaders with the tools they need to become certified professionals within the field.
The key goal for hotel security professionals is to deliver exceptional customer service to guests, while also balancing the safety and security of these guests, employees and visitors with a welcoming environment. Modern risks, including those related to cybersecurity, liability and compliance have propelled the need for stringent yet creative security strategies to be integrated into a hotel’s overall business strategy.
These threats continue to be a significant driver in the deployment of video surveillance, video intelligence technologies and other security systems. The demonstrated value of video drives further interest in surveillance platforms, and this along with other factors propels the use of video surveillance as it continues to advance globally. According to a 2017 report from Research and Markets, the video surveillance market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.6 percent from 2017 to 2023, with hospitality, healthcare and education verticals forecasted to grow at an even higher rate.
There’s no doubt that technology plays a critical role in the effectiveness of a security function in all organizations, and the hospitality industry is no exception. Be on the lookout for part two of this series, where we’ll analyze how business models function in the hospitality sector and begin to summarize a report Oncam commissioned the University of West London to carry out. This hospitality study, led by the Chair in Hospitality Management, Professor Alex Paraskevas, was research to gain a deeper understanding of the hotel sector as a vertical market and explore the needs and concerns of hotel security professionals.