How Artificial Intelligence Enhances The Hospitality Industry
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasing in its use, including in the hospitality industry. AI in hospitality helps hoteliers and travel agents to enhance their relationships with customers. This article describes the opportunities for and benefits of using AI in the industry.
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AI is used in many types of software, and its major benefit is in supporting hotel staff in daily or routine tasks. This saves hoteliers money while reducing human error and improving service. The hospitality industry focuses on providing good quality service to customers within the most economical way. Good service turns a first-visit transactional relationship into a transformational relationship of customer loyalty.
AI can enable hotels to perform data analysis, make predictions and optimise business processes.
Mapping the guest journey. AI can help hoteliers map the guest journey from their check-in to check-out. Subsequent predictive analysis allows the identification of opportunities for improvement of the customer experience. With AI-supported analysis, hoteliers can identify customer expectations, preferences and trends. AI-powered solutions make it possible to personalise the offering to individual customers. Personalised recommendations and facial recognition are some examples of AI application in the hospitality industry.
Flexible booking. AI-based systems can be used to attract customers and enable them to book accommodation and services in the minimum possible time and way.
Communication. A major task is an effective communication with customers. Chatbots can enable timely responses to customers’ frequent, predictable and routine questions. However, customers often still want to communicate directly with human staff, so the right balance of automation and human-to-human contact needs to be found.
AI concierge. Robots can create a futuristic experience which can be attractive to customers. Some hotels have installed robo-assistants in the hotel lobby to perform certain tasks reduce the burden on front desk staff. Travel agents can also use smart assistants to provide customers with information.
Automation and optimisation. Hoteliers can reduce operating costs with AI technology. For example, management systems with integrated AI-based algorithms for booking and housekeeping systems can simplify and improve workflow at many stages of these processes. Task and process performance can be managed and monitored effectively and efficiently. Automation of working processes is one of the primary tech trends in hospitality. You can read our article about current trends in hospitality.
Management of utilities. Hotels can predict and save water and energy consumption in hotels and reduce utility costs by using AI control systems and utility monitoring tools.
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AI remains imperfect in its application and this technology still presents certain challenges.
Human Expertise is Still Ahead of AI. Although AI can enhance human activity in specific processes, it cannot completely replace human expertise. AI facilitates the automation of many tasks, and in the future this will increase, but humans still need to oversee AI-based processes. Even though AI technology has made significant progress in the last decade, it still makes mistakes, and Machine Learning (a subset of AI) must be used more to process gathered information and improve the decision-making process. Since AI’s decisions are based on information entered by humans and human input error will lead to incorrect conclusions and decisions.
Privacy. AI-powered systems collect vast amounts of private and confidential information which requires protection from violation of data privacy laws, and defence against unauthorised access. Hotels systems must comply with privacy rules and laws. Hoteliers and travel agents need to protect their systems from hacking and cyber-attack. The more that data handling is automated, the more it needs to be protected. An integration of AI algorithms and compliance with privacy standards will further enhance the offering from the hospitality industry.
Cost. The integration of AI-based software into hotel and travel agency business processes and the installation of robotics systems is expensive. However, the cost of software development can be reduced by outsourcing to contractors based where prices are more affordable.
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The future of AI in hospitality is bright. At Go Wombat, we help our clients find the smartest option for AI-based software development. Our experienced developers know how to build software to the best effect, using the most modern tools and techniques and with full compliance with global requirements.
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