AI-driven technology systems have the potential to upgrade identification and face recognition software to make the check-in and check-out process more secure and authorize access to restricted areas and rooms.

FREMONT, CA: A hotel is a place that helps people connect and experience local culture, where guests can relax, eat, sleep, celebrate, relax, and be entertained. To give guests what they need, hotels need to have both technological and physical infrastructures. Today, even with the advancement in the tools, the hospitality industry still sees technology gaps.

The hospitality industry faces an inherent challenge that slows down technology adoption and innovation. Some of the difficulties include hotels brands not facilitating technology rollout and sticking to antiquated legacy technology systems, low margins, and high technology deployment costs. Thoughtful adoption of technology can perk up guest experiences and keep pace with the varying culture and business environment. The three critical areas of technology in hospitality are:

The Design of Intelligent Buildings

In the present day, hotel buildings are becoming smart. The process of making the building intelligent starts right through its design and construction, along with the preference of technology-ready green building features and systems. Additionally, the process continues with incorporating the Operating System (OS) for the structure to make sure that software and systems are run together. Point-of-sale, property management, labor-management tools, accounting software, point-of-sale are some of the technologies to be integrated into the OS.

Task management system advances the activities like prioritizing maintenance and housekeeping, layering guest check-ins, and check-outs to maximize revenue and labor productivity in a fully integrated smart hotel. The process enables visitor customization choices and mechanizes accounting and reporting. The phases; design and integration are well in progress, in particular for large-scale developments and renovation where businesses have prioritized technology update as their business strategy.

The last segment involves the integration of business intelligence and analytics that evaluate the guest’s online activity before and after their stay. The tool helps hotels understand:

• The guest behavior, chiefly when used in union with data on what the guests did during the visit.
• Hotels can track where guests go out for dinner and gain perspective on why they did not select the property’s restaurant.
• The movement of visitors in a convention hotel to enhance retail locations in the building.
• The habits of repeat visitors to offer them the right room temperature and other amenities on their next visit in a hotel of the brand.

Moreover, privacy and cybersecurity are key reasons that have slowed the deployment of tracking technologies.

Employment of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The utilization of AI in the hotel industry is primarily centered on consumer services, through recommendation chatbots and engines. AI is not a uniformed platform that is applied to only one particular area of the hospitality industry, but is increasingly organized in several ways.  

Revenue management can become an ever more tactical part of hotel operations.  The capability to examine data sets on factors such as behavior, guest segmentation, event information, and weather patterns will help inform analytical yield management systems. Besides, information from digital interactions and on-property behavior will improve the operation of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and loyalty tools. The enhancement also allows hospitality firms to foster loyalty, capitalize on brand advocacy, and deliver an understanding of the travelers’ aspirations and needs.

Furthermore, AI-driven systems have the potential to upgrade identification and face recognition software to make the check-in and check-out process more secure and authorize access to restricted areas and rooms.

Additionally, the technology can also help the hospitality industry to filter and recruit candidates to increase the productivity given the labor-intensive nature of the industry and the major turnover issue. Virtual travel assistants and chatbots can assist the sector spontaneously as they become more visible along with delivering tasks like ordering room service and getting data on the flight. In addition, technology is growing to become a virtual assistant that concierges with the guest’s journey like ordering tickets for a show, recommending a restaurant in the town.

Introduction of Robotics to Ease Labor Cost Pressures

Subject to segments and markets hotels operate in, most analysis on proprietary data shows that payroll and benefits correspond to 15-40% of the hotel revenue. From increased labor costs to jobs that are improbable to outsource or move toward affordable labor markets, hospitality is facing a significant issue that can be mitigated by automation.

The way factories and households are being automated by the incorporation of robots to perform chores; hotels can similarly be automated from housekeeping to front desk. Technology is poised to change hotel labor with robot room-service delivery, self-check-in kiosks, and optimized precautionary maintenance approaches that decrease the need for human intervention.

Also, with automation comes the need to connect with the hotel unions and employees proactively. Hospitality firms ought to have stronger bonds with the associations, giving them a place at the table to make sure the interest of the employees is kept at the center of the process.

The Need of Automation

Intrinsically, hospitality industry is a business focusing on being hospitable. So, the technology in the industry is meant to make hotels safer, environment-friendly, and profitable while improving the customer experience and not replacing it.  

In essence, technology deployment should free up hotel associates from the mundane tasks, so that they can focus on the value-add actions. If hotels employ AI, data analysis, and other technologies, then employees can focus on the guest-facing interactions, thereby creating a memorable visitor experience. Lastly, technology should be viewed as a social human interaction tool and a complementary operational strategy to remain at the core of the business to offer customized experience and an exceptional service.