Artificial Intelligence has the potential to revolutionize the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. For each touchpoint in the guest journey, data is gathered on guest preferences, habits and behaviors which can be used to make well-informed decisions for optimizing the guest experience and streamlining hotel operations.
A trending topic, guest personalization has the power to drive the digital guest experience. Every aspect of a guest’s interactions with the hotel – from booking and checking in to room control and in-house menus – can be tailored to the individual based on preferences, behavior, and history, with the ability to scale.
In-room features like seamless casting provide guests with the ability to access their own accounts on services such as Netflix and Spotify, casting their personal content directly onto the hotel TV. Other personalization features include automated room control for temperature and light settings, facial recognition, voice-activated services etc.
Automated customer service
A key customer service challenge is responding to customer queries quickly and effectively. AI tackles this problem with chatbots which “learn” over time and adapt to human interactions. Today, human- machine interfaces built on natural voice or typed conversations – including WhatsApp, WeChat, Siri, Alexa and Messenger – are rapidly becoming the norm for customer service within hospitality.
With automated and assisted conversations, many guest queries can be handled or at least flagged by a chat bot without much staff involvement, minimizing the pressure on staff and improving guest satisfaction. Chatbots with natural language engines allow guests to communicate in any language, overcoming language barriers and decreasing the dependence of having to employ multilingual staff.
Benefits of AI-powered systems in hotel operations
AI-powered systems support pre-emptive maintenance and repairs by supplying real-time performance and operational data on rooms, alerting maintenance to any issues requiring attention. As a result, fewer guests will encounter disruption, the need for manual inspections is reduced, and early repairs lead to money saved on replacement devices and rooms being out of service. Feeds from AI monitoring cameras can also identify security threats like unclaimed luggage or hazardous objects in common areas as well as day-to-day detection of food trays left outside rooms etc.
As for revenue management, AI algorithms help extract valuable data points from a large volume of data that allows hotels to analyze booking data, occupancy rates and guest feedback to make data-driven decisions on how to optimize their operations and resources. Through machine learning, AI can optimize staff requirements by factoring in seasons, occupancy rates, events etc., thereby enabling hotels to foresee peak staffing period and manage their resources accordingly,
But AI models can also facilitate pricing strategies by incorporating data from market dynamics outside the property such as a convention happening in the city, flight occupancy into the city, weather predictions, rates at other properties in the city etc.
The benefits of AI to the industry are practically endless and the technology will most certainly continue to develop in interesting ways in the very near future.
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