Abstract

Globalization and advances in information and communication technology (ICT) have contributed to the computerization of society, but also to the improvement of working conditions in diverse areas of activity. Hospitality have not been an exception to this reality and increasingly is seen a proliferation of ICT in these areas of activity and the consequent need for training and specialization by these professionals. Thus, this research aims to understand the level of preponderance of ICT in the hotel activity and to characterize the use of ICT in hotel activities. Thus, a quantitative study was conducted with the dissemination of an online survey to hospitality companies during November 2017 to January 2018. Our sample has 51 hotel companies from different categories and several tourism regions in Portugal. The respondents were 15 (29,5%) female and 36 (70,5%) male with mean age of 45,7 (SD=12,1) years. In our sample, 43 (84%) had a formalized Room Division department, 38 (74,5%) had F&B; department, and 32 (62,7%) had sales and marketing department. The results suggested that, for each department, the need of digital skills is related to the specific features of the Department. For the majority of the departments, the seniority of the activity is related to the need of an advanced level of digital skills, for example in the room division department, the front office manager needed a medium (n=26, 58%) or advanced (n=17, 38%) level of digital skills but, for 40% (n=15) of the participants, the housekeeper, to order online the amenities, needed a basic of digital skills. In the F&B; department Food and Beverage, the Head Chef for the task of procurement, through an online system, the goods needed for an event, 75% (n=28) of the participants referred that requires a medium-advanced level of digital skills. To the Barman, for promoting, in the Instagram, the image of a new cocktail available, we observed that 13 (38%) participants referred the need of basic level of digital skills. Only in the sales and marketing department, all the functions required an advanced level of digital skills, the sales manager, for the several tasks needed medium-advanced level of skills (n=27, 85%), 85% (n=27) of the revenue managers also needed an medium-advanced level of digital skills, and 47% (n=15) of the participants referred that sales promoter needed an advanced level of digital skills. In conclusion, this paper discusses the ICT skills needed to develop the several activities in each department of a hotel, as well as in managing the different issues of each department, namely in the relationship with costumers and guests, before, during and after the reservation, using ICT to promote hotel ecologic sustainability, managing social networks and promoting the hotel online.

Authors

Silva, Susana;  Aires, Catia;  Silva, Candida;  Melo, Antonio

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