A new report by Colliers International, has found that personalisation of Artificial Intelligence can increase hotel revenues by over 10 per cent and reduce costs by more than 15 per cent.
The report which was conducted for Arabian Travel Market 2019, stated that hotel operators were expecting technology such as voice and facial recognition, virtual reality and biometrics to be mainstream by 2025.
It added that further to this, about 73 per cent of manual activities in the hospitality industry had the technical potential for automation, with many global hotel operators including Marriott, Hilton, and Accor already investing in automating elements of their human resources.
The Exhibition Director, Middle East, Arabian Travel Market, Danielle Curtis, was quoted to have said its impact on hotels and travel and tourism would be multi-dimensional, ranging from voice and facial recognition, chatbots and beacon technology to virtual reality, blockchain and robot concierge.
“Throughout ATM 2019, the spotlight theme will be launched as a platform to create awareness and inspire the travel and hospitality industry about the next generation of technology, while bringing together senior travel executives to meet and conduct business with innovative tech providers,” he said.
While automation is forecast to replace a large number of jobs, between 39 and 73 million in the United States alone, according to a study by McKinsey Global Institute, the report also stated that innovative technology would not be a purely negative disrupter.
According to the report, new jobs will be created; existing roles will be redefined; and workers will have the opportunity to further their career with additional training but the challenge will be preparing for and managing the transition between now and 2030.
Curtis said, “With technologies like AI and automation quickly maturing, the hospitality and travel and tourism industry must prepare for a wave of disruption in order to reap the overall benefits of these technologies.
“Equipping workers with the necessary skills and training and creating new tech-augmented jobs that can assist with this innovative technology will be key to making this transition a success.”
Discussing the defining evolutions of hospitality technology, the Travel Tech Show will return to ATM 2019, taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 28 April to May 1, with dedicated international exhibitors and an influential agenda of discussion and debate in the Travel Tech Theatre.
On the show floor, attendees will be able to meet with exhibitors such as TravelClick, Amadeus IT Group, Travco Corporation Limited, the Booking Expert, Beta Travel, GT Beds and Global Innovations International among many others.
The report stated that looking to the future, the use of robots within the hospitality industry was becoming more commonplace with Colliers predicting the global sale of guest relation robots to reach 66,000 units by 2020.
“Deployed to improve guests’ overall experience in a hotel, these robots offer a range of uses from artificially intelligent chatbots designed to assist with the customer service process, through to robot concierge and butlers which have the ability to deliver luggage, handle check-in and check-outs and deliver meals 24/7 to guests efficiently,” it said.
It added that in 2015 the world’s first robot-run hotel opened in Japan, saying that Henn-na Hotel featured a multi-lingual animatronic dinosaur at reception that helped with check-in and check-out as well as robot porters and a giant mechanical arm that stored luggage in individual drawers.
Curtis stated, “Hoteliers have been cautious of technology taking away the human touch from the guest service and experience. However, by giving guests the power to choose every part of their hotel experience, hoteliers can learn the right balance between staff interaction and AI-powered, automated customer service.
“Hospitality is in the business of selling experiences. With more and more AI innovations available for guests to express both satisfaction and grievance, the influence of such technology and the usage of social listening tools are expected to become standard as we move closer to 2030. While a robot may not have a smile, it can recognise faces, remember names and most importantly remember guest preferences, characteristics and behaviours.”