Prolonged lockdowns and travel restrictions have undoubtedly impacted the global economy on an unprecedented scale – with the hotel industry among the hardest hit. Significant revenue drops, low occupancy and idle time are among the top challenges faced by many hotel managers. It is high time for us to take action and turn the tide.
The landscape of digital solutions has seen incredible innovations and breakthroughs over the last decade. One of such compelling technologies is the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Can you imagine automating reservations, payments, and check-ins with real-time status updates on-the-go?
These are simply a few examples of how AI will change the guest experience in your hotel. AI is on the verge of transforming the hospitality industry. Now is the time to look beyond traditional systems and adapt to the new normal with innovative tools. Here are some ways AI is reshaping the hospitality industry:
Hoteliers have long known that providing a personalised experience with properly harnessed customer insight is the best way to increase guest satisfaction. In this regard, the hospitality industry has long been ahead of the curve.
Tailoring your offering with thoughtful touches such as a guest’s preferred rooms, views, mini bar items and toiletries keeps guests coming back. AI can level the playing field by quickly identifying these personal preferences and tailoring the experience to the relevant guest.
You can also use AI to personalise your promotional campaigns and rewards programme, not just in terms of what you offer, but also in terms of who you offer them to.
2. Occupancy and room optimisation
Seasons and holidays play a crucial role in determining hotel occupancy levels but forecasting and responding to the impact of season and holidays on your occupancy levels can be challenging.
AI analyses multiple sources of data to give nuanced data intelligence on the trends and patterns in hotel occupancy. Hotels can then modify their pricing dynamically depending on the market situations and demand-supply conditions.
Plus, with greater awareness of the impact of particular events or calendar dates, you can now adjust your marketing activities to maximise occupancy.
In this case, IFCA’s HotelX automates pricing models with its dynamic pricing functionality designed to optimise room sales and generates financial reports in real-time, making practically everything more efficient and paperless.
3. Booking and staff interaction
Bookings are a major friction point for hotels. Many potential guest books through aggregator sites and those who land on a specific hotel page often bounce without booking.
Even if a guest wishes to book, determining preferred dates and check-in information can be time-consuming, and opportunities to actually communicate with hotel staff are limited.
By using an AI-fuelled solution, you can enable your guests to self-serve and convert them immediately. Provide your consumers with a fast-paced delivery service, 24/7 availability, booking service with a range of custom options available – without relying on or waiting for human intervention.
HotelX, for example, empowers guests to make an online booking. And on the day of arrival, guests can self-check-in using HotelX’s guest app. Guest just need to scan their ID and a digital registration card will be generated for the guest’s e-signature.
4. Updates and maintenance
You want to deliver the finest possible guest experience you can, but you also need to strategically channel your resources for the best return on investment.
AI can analyse occupancy data, guest feedback and self-reported guest data to gauge which upgrades or renovations should be executed first and which improvements will deliver the best return.
It can also work predictively through pattern recognition to highlight potential difficulties and assist in optimising your maintenance procedures.
5. Reputation management
The hospitality industry is built on reputation, therefore what people think and say about you counts. Hotels can now examine the online feedback given by various guests on multiple social media platforms and other review forums by adopting Deep Learning.
AI’s ability to parse reviews and social-media posts swiftly and at scale gives you insight into what people are saying about your business, allowing you to respond effectively. AI also can alert you to potential public-relations problems early, giving you enough time to craft an appropriate response.
Will artificial intelligence change hotel stay?
The key issues where a trending solution like HotelX can help hoteliers are:
- AI can significantly lower hotel operating costs by providing 24/7 assistance to the guests without human intervention required;
- AI technologies implemented can significantly improve the in-room guest experience;
- Hoteliers can provide more personalised service, basing on the guest data collected and suggest the best solutions;
- AI takes the conversation between hotels and guests to the next level by elevating it from a request-based to a two-way dialogue.
AI has the potential to transform almost every facet of your hospitality business. And with the technology curve indicating that AI will only become more accessible in the future, businesses of all sizes can gain a competitive advantage from AI.
Resources and Further Reading
Artificial Intelligence for Hotels: 9 Trends to Know
How is the Hotel Industry using AI to provide an awesome User Experience?
6 ways artificial intelligence is already impacting hospitality
How is AI transforming the hospitality sector?