Artificial intelligence is often spoken about as a “future” technology. But the truth is, AI is already here. We are now on the cusp of an AI revolution, and it is already having a big impact in the hospitality and travel industries. From chatbots to smart PMS, hotels don’t have to wait until the next decade or even the next year to start making the most of automation, machine learning, advanced analytics and other data-driven technologies. So, how is AI already being put to work?
Robot Concierge at Hilton Hotels and Resorts
Hilton Hotels and Resorts has brought AI out of the digital space and into the physical world. The company introduced a robotic concierge named “Connie” at several flagship properties. The charming robot is able to interact with guests using plain speech and provide customized tourist information. Over time, the Watson-enabled robot learns from guests’ speech patterns and improves its own comprehension. Right now, technology like Connie is mostly a novelty, but in the future, it may be common to find AI-powered concierges providing consistent customer service across hotels’ properties.
Chatbots at Edwardian Hotels
Being connected with the right information at the right place and time is a major priority for travellers. Edwardian Hotels has introduced a chatbot service, aptly named “Edward”, at select properties. Guests simply text their travel questions to the AI-powered chatbot and receive immediate answers. This type of technology equips guests with a portable concierge that can respond to their individual needs at all times. With new AI technologies, the guest experience can be upgraded significantly without putting strain on hotels’ resources or requiring additional customer service reps to field guests’ queries.
Smart Controls at Virgin Hotels
AI is a great way to enhance personalization, as Virgin Hotels has already proven. Guests can download a free mobile app, “Lucy”, and use its automated features to control more of their experience. For instance, the app can control room temperature, stream content to the TV, order room service, call a cab and more. It’s not the most sophisticated form of AI, but it succeeds at giving guests more control over their experience, while freeing up front desk employees to focus on other tasks.
Robotic Butlers at Starwood
Relying on humans to fulfill guest requests is expensive and uncertain. At certain properties, Starwood has introduced robot butlers, dubbed “botlrs”, to do everything from delivering extra towels to providing room service. This technology allows hotels to rely on fewer employees, and to focus the efforts of available staff on more specialized services. Using robots to handle other forms of basic labour like vacuuming carpets, moving luggage or cleaning pools is another application already in the pipeline.
Smart Forecasting at Pan Pacific
Hotels must make their operating budgets as lean as possible without sacrificing the customer experience. With that in mind, Pan Pacific is collecting data from as many touchpoints as possible, automating the analysis of that data and then using those insights to better forecast bookings, restaurant reservations, maintenance needs and staffing levels. As a result, the hotel is able to boost efficiency across the board, cutting out wasted time and redundancy.
Artificial Intelligence at Your Property
The hotels outlined above are all innovators in the industry. The good news is that their efforts and those of hospitality-tech companies have laid a path for others to follow. Already, hospitality technology is applying AI to everyday hotel operations. In fact, our own PMS now incorporates AI cloud technologies to create advanced user profiles and streamline service across properties. At RoomKey, we’ve made AI a priority so that we can give hoteliers smarter ways to gather guest information—and then use that data to elevate their marketing campaigns and improve the guest experience.
Technologies such as ours prove that the future is now: AI is already accessible, and we can no longer afford to ignore it. If you want to stay competitive, it’s time to figure out how AI can benefit your properties and create seamless and memorable stays for your guests.
Making AI work for your company requires the right technology. When you’re ready to explore all that is possible, RoomKeyPMS can take your software to the next level.