The Secret Sauce of Luxury Hotels: Parking Digitalisation

What makes 5-star hotels special is their focus on customers. They go above and beyond to meet, and even exceed, the expectations of their guests from the moment they step onto the hotel premises until the moment they leave. This passion to constantly improve, adapt and keep up with trends in the hotel industry makes them attractive to guests. However, despite the attention to detail, what often gets overlooked is the hotel parking lot. This is a crucial place that can greatly impact a hotel guest’s experience. That is why the secret weapon of hotels is parking digitalisation.

Key Highlights

  • The ultimate goal of a digital parking lot is to increase the hotel’s revenue, through factors such as improved customer experience and automation of parking management.
  • The key tools of a digital parking lot are ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras, NaviPay (a mobile application for drivers), (a reservation and subscription portal) and NaviParking Manager (a portal for hotel staff to manage the hotel facilities remotely). 
  • The most common problems of hotels that are solved with a digital parking lot are revenue leakage, unsatisfied guests, lack of staff, too many unused parking spaces and not enough available parking spaces to accommodate all guests. 
  • Parking digitalisation is affordable and yet it can create a unique luxury experience for guests as well as increase the hotel’s revenue. 
  • The parking management system with which we provide hotels enables them to monitor all activity happening in real-time at the parking facilities, have control over parking space availability and gather data that can be generated into easily accessible reports. 
  • The luxury factor of digital parking will increase the happiness of hotel guests, who have the comfort of accessing a parking lot that is equipped with ANPR cameras as opposed to having to deal with traditional parking systems. 
  • Digital parking systems enable the monetisation of unused parking spaces which can be offered to non-hotel guests through the NaviPay mobile application. 
  • Hotels with EV charging stations on their premises can also make them available in the NaviPay application.

What is a digitalised hotel parking lot?

The digitalisation of a hotel parking lot relies on hardware and software to simplify and improve the efficiency and convenience of parking processes on both sides, the driver and the hotel staff. The ultimate goal is to increase the hotel’s revenue, through factors such as improved customer experience and automation of parking management

At NaviParking, we are flexible with our solutions and adjust them based on the needs of every client. However, the overall idea of what we offer in terms of digitalisation of parking lots for hotels is this: we provide a solution that ensures the hotel staff has access to a proper management system of the parking lot and their guests have a positive, stress-free experience when accessing the hotel’s parking facilities

We have an internal software house and technical engineering team, so we offer both hardware and software to our clients.

The software we provide is divided into two categories. The first category is software for the users of the parking lot, which includes NaviPay, a mobile application for drivers that they can use to easily access the parking facilities and the digital parking portal ( where drivers can book reservations in advance and purchase long-term subscriptions. The second category is software for the hotel.  We provide the hotel staff with a portal to remotely manage the entire parking facility, including an overview of the area in real-time, a detailed history of past transactions and generated reports with data that enable the hotel management to make data-driven business decisions

The hardware technology we install is dependent on the needs of the client and the infrastructure already present at the parking facility. However, the tool that offers the ultimate digitalisation is the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera. That is because ANPR cameras automate the parking entry and exit process for drivers, providing them with the most luxurious and comfortable parking experience. After downloading NaviPay and creating an account in the app, the guest does not need to take any additional actions, as the ANPR cameras will read and recognise the license plate number of the hotel guest’s vehicle at entry and exit, and the parking barrier will open.

What problems faced by hotels does parking lot digitalisation solve?

Each hotel has its unique challenges, and therefore, we help address the different needs of each of our clients from the hospitality industry. That being said, some problems appear more frequently than others. Here are some of the most common problems faced by hotels that are solved by parking digitalisation: 

  • Revenue leakage. When hotels don’t have a proper parking management system in place, they face the risk of revenue leakage. This may come in the form of ineffectively managing the hotel’s resources such as having too much staff onsite, outdated parking infrastructure that is prone to breaking frequently or drivers accessing the parking facilities without paying for their stay. The digitalisation of a parking lot is a fool-proof solution to parking management. With a digital parking lot and NaviParking Manager, instead of losing money, hotels can increase their revenue. 
  • Unsatisfied guests. Hotel guests, regardless of whether they are domestic or international, seek comfort in the hotel they choose to stay. For many guests, accessing the hotel parking lot is their first experience on the hotel premises, especially with the rise of domestic guests travelling by car, a trend brought on by the pandemic. If that first impression fails to satisfy the guest, and they are forced to battle with paper tickets, cash machines and contacting the hotel receptionists through an intercom from the parking lot, the risks are that the guest will be unsatisfied during the entire hotel stay, regardless of how ideal each moment is after that. By providing hotel guests with a convenient mobile application, hotels can avoid this problem. Instead of unsatisfied guests entering their hotel lobby after a stressful parking experience, they will show up impressed. 
  • Lack of available onsite parking staff. One of the biggest challenges hotels are forced to overcome because of the pandemic is a lack of staff and candidates interested in working or returning to the hospitality industry, due to the unpredictability caused by the pandemic. By automating the parking process and having the web portal NaviParking Manager as a parking management system, the parking lot can be managed remotely and with no staff needed to be present onsite, eliminating this problem. What is more, extra lines at the reception desk just to validate the paper ticket will disappear for good.
  • Too many unused parking spaces. Some hotels have parking lots with spaces that go unused for days on end. It may be due to it being outside the peak tourist season, having mostly international hotel guests without personal vehicles or some other factor that’s actively affecting the parking occupancy. Regardless of the reason, hotels can take advantage of these unused parking spaces and monetise them with digital parking solutions, like NaviPay, and increase their revenue. When a hotel has a digital parking lot that is paired with a mobile application available for everyone to download, drivers who aren’t hotel guests can access the parking lot and pay on an hourly basis or even purchase long-term subscriptions, depending on what kind of parking options the hotel wants to offer.
  • Not enough parking spaces. While some hotels have too many unused parking spaces, other hotels face the opposite problem: full parking lots. Navigating a parking lot that is almost at full capacity is frustrating for all drivers, especially when it was preceded by waiting in a long queue before entering the parking facilities. At NaviParking, we create a digital ecosystem inside the parking facilities that makes it possible for hotel guests to quickly and easily find a parking space, ensuring they have a comfortable parking experience. What is more, on our portal we could also offer parking reservations for the hotel guests, so occupancy can be predicted in advance. 


How do hotels benefit from a digitally transformed parking lot?

There are numerous benefits of digitalisation, but the big overall benefit that ties all of them together is increased revenue for the hotel. Parking digitalisation is affordable for hotels yet can make a significant impact on the ways hotels manage and make money from their parking facilities, as well as the overall image of the hotel on the market and in the eyes of its guests because it creates a uniquely luxurious experience

To truly leave their guests impressed with their facilities, hotels need to match the luxury and comfort of their hotel interiors across each part of their premises, particularly their parking lot. By having the digital transformation at their facilities, hotels are setting themselves apart from their competitors and proving they are innovative and always strive to put the comfort and needs of their guests first.

First and foremost, parking digitalisation gives hotels a proper management system of the hotel’s parking facilities. It removes the necessity to have multiple parking staff present onsite at all times and have the staff working the reception desk split their attention from checking guests in and out and letting them into and out of the parking lot. At NaviParking, we provide hotels with a portal where they can monitor all activity happening in real-time at the parking facilities, have control over parking space availability and gather data that can be generated into easily accessible reports. This also helps improve security at the parking lot. Most importantly, it all can be done remotely from anywhere. The need for onsite staff to be present is gone, saving the hotel money. Additionally, the generated reports help make informed business decisions based on data, which also translates into saving money and eventually increasing revenue.

Another big benefit of parking digitalisation is that it improves the customer experience of hotel guests. When choosing which hotel to book, hotels offering digital parking will stand out from their competitors and be more attractive to guests. Instead of the hassle of using machines that print our paper tickets, waiting in long queues, having to contact the hotel reception or parking staff through an intercom and searching for the right coins to pay for the parking, what awaits hotel guests is a simple and seamless parking experience that won’t waste their time. By having NaviPay on their smartphones, hotel guests can just drive up to the parking barrier that will open automatically for them thanks to ANPR cameras, and then they can proceed to park their vehicle in one of the available parking spaces. That’s all they have to do. Similarly, when leaving the parking lot, the parking barrier will open automatically upon license plate recognition, and the guest can comfortably be on their way. The luxury factor of digital parking will increase the happiness of hotel guests and will make them want to keep coming back to the hotel in the future. 

Additional revenue can also come with actively monetising parking facilities by allowing non-guests to access them. From the above-mentioned web portal, hotels have control of the number of spaces made available and can change this number based on their preferences and parking occupancy. Then, drivers, who are looking for parking in the area the hotel is located can access the parking lot using NaviPay. The parking lot will be visible to them in the application, and they will know the number of available parking spaces in real-time. Similarly, like hotel guests using the facilities, non-guests can enter the parking lot automatically by driving up to the parking barrier after creating an account in the NaviPay app and then pay for the parking stay digitally within the app. By taking advantage of their unused parking spaces, hotels can increase their revenue. 

Hotels with EV charging stations on their premises can also make them available in the NaviPay application so drivers can have everything in one place. NaviPay users will be able to see if they are available and then pay for the charge within the app. That will increase the exposure of the charging stations and draw more drivers to use them, increasing the revenue. It is another way for hotels to make money without the necessity of having more staff onsite or investing a lot of money. It also paves the way for more partnerships that will bring more customers, make the hotel stand out from its competitors and increase its revenue.

Klaudia Żychowska

Klaudia Żychowska is a Polish native who grew up in Chicago. After completing a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a double concentration in Creative Writing and Professional Writing at the University of Illinois at Chicago, she decided to move back to Poland to reconnect with her roots. She is fascinated by smart cities and innovative technologies and is responsible for content strategy at NaviParking.

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