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In the last couple of years, artificial intelligence has found its way in almost all industries and the hospitality industry makes no exception. Being a highly competitive domain, those working in this industry have always been keen on keeping up-to-date with trends and technological advancements.
With the help of AI, businesses operating in the hospitality industry can upgrade their services, processes and improve customer experiences. After all, in this field it's all about boosting revenues and loyalty. And what better way to build customer loyalty than by offering them the best experiences. Everyone today is constantly connected to technology and customers expect to benefit from the same advantages whether they are at home, staying in a hotel or dining out at a restaurant.
Keeping in touch with customers and attending to their needs is an extremely important aspect in hospitality. It is also very difficult, time consuming and demands high levels of dedication. But AI systems, for example- chatbots, have proved to be extremely effective when it comes to direct messaging and online chatting services. Chatbots are able to understand and respond to simple questions or requests based on FAQs almost instantaneously. And they can do this 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all round the year.
Apart from discussing with customers, AI-driven chatbots can help hotel guests with a wide range of tasks, including ordering meals or drinks, controlling room temperature and lighting, managing evening reservations, as well as taxi booking and itinerary planning. Requests are usually sent to chatbots through virtual interactions using a mobile app or another device.
For instance, the Clarion Hotel Amaranten in Stockholm has an AI-enabled butler. The chatbot is an in-room assistant based on Amazon Echo. The assistant, equipped with powerful features, is designed to help guests with most of the requirements that were previously, normally handled by a human employee.
Knowledge is power. The more data you have, the more you know about your customers and would be able to respond to their individual specific needs. Most accommodations collect a lot of information about current or potential guests and AI systems can sort through these large amounts of data and draw important conclusions about what will help businesses adjust their services and strategies.
For example, Dorchester Collection hotel chain uses the Metis AI platform to sort through data collected via surveys and online reviews. The AI-based system is able to analyse these details and draw conclusions about overall performance.
Booking has always been bit of a hassle, whether you do it using an aggregator or directly on the hotel's website. Introducing AI-based features into websites can reduce friction and provide customers personalized experiences, while also freeing up staff who can handle more complex tasks.
Regarding occupancy, an AI system can help businesses by providing relevant insights into the occupancy patterns of the area they're located in. In addition, it can dynamically adjust pricing rates from day to day. As an example, Airbnb uses host pricing recommendations for this.
The hospitality industry also includes travelling and transportation, so airports are benefiting from AI-powered robots too. These robotic assistants can help passengers by carrying out a series of tasks including providing information in different languages, performing check-in activities, etc.
Adoption of artificial intelligence in the hospitality industry is increasing at a faster pace. Cognitive technology has been shown to be quite efficient in carrying out a lot of tasks that were traditionally handled by individuals. In hotels, restaurants, and travelling this has allowed owners to save time and money, reduce and even eliminate human error and, most importantly, provide superior service. The hospitality industry has always been quick to adapt and implement new approaches and ideas. Internet-enabled thermostats, robotic butlers or fingerprint and facial recognition technology for check-in/check-out purposes are now the new normal.
While we highlight some of the most common use cases for AI in hospitality, there are many more ways technology can contribute to this field.