Everything about Artificial Intelligence in the Hotel Industry

hotel artificial intelligence
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently powering thousands upon thousands of solutions catering to the needs of businesses across industries. The tourism industry is not an exception. However, given that it has changed the industry paradigm, many hoteliers have doubts about using AI themselves

If you are one of these hoteliers, it’s completely understandable that you want to learn more about AI. Below you find everything you need to make an informed decision and potentially use AI-powered solutions to set your business for success. 

What is artificial intelligence in hotels?

AI in the hotel industry

So, what does the phrase “AI in hotels” stand for in fact? AI in hotels refers to any solution built on AI to streamline a specific process in a hotel. In short, AI is this massive branch of computer science. People working in it are trying to build software tools able to do things only humans could do in the past. 

AI stands at the core of some of the newest software platforms. For instance, an AI in a hotel can mean many things ranging from AI-enabled hotel management software to direct booking platforms. In its efforts to enhance the guest experience, make accommodation memorable, and reduce repetitive tasks, hoteliers started adopting AI solutions.

Impact of artificial intelligence in the hotel industry

AI has already impacted the tourism sector worldwide. The most noticeable was the implementation of chatbots. This has forever altered the guest experience as the services became available 24/7/365 and in multiple languages. 

Some hotels took it a step further. For instance, Hilton was the first to use an AI-powered hotel concierge robot. Furthermore, AI technologies have impacted the industry with the use of big data and data analytics. 

The AI impact is truly profound as it changed the way hotels do business. It has increased convenience. Automation has enabled huge time savings and reduced the number of errors. Analytics have provided accurate insights and helped hotels prepare for the future. Finally, by impacting guests’ experience, AI has increased loyalty and satisfaction for hotel guests.

How do hotels use artificial intelligence?

AI is already here, and hotels use it to streamline a number of processes. According to the most recent survey, hotels are using AI to:

  • Build brand loyalty — AI is able to decipher personal preferences so that hotels can delight guests with personalized offers;
  • Improve recommendation engines — with access to big data; AI is able to suggest the best and most relevant deals to guests;
  • Enhance revenue management systems — AI and machine learning are able to determine the best room rate in real-time to help hotels maximize profits;
  • Enhance customer experience — AI-based solutions enhance the customer experience. For example, UpStay’s algorithm is able to offer the best rooms depending on the hotel guests’ needs, by sending targeted offers at the right time and with the exact room attributes the guest is looking for. This definitely helps the hotel convert guests from standard to premium rooms, all done automatically.
  • Optimize demand forecasting — with AI, hoteliers can accurately forecast demand.

Trends in artificial intelligence in the hotel industry?

The trends in AI in the hotel industry align with the current use case. Given that AI is coming out of the tech sector, it is safe to assume it will get even better in time. ML, one of its main subdomains, becomes better with access to more data. 

We should expect hoteliers to feed more of their data pipelines to AI and ML platforms to help them excel and achieve their goals. With so many emerging AI solutions catering to the hoteliers’ needs, we should expect to see prices going down and cutting-edge technology becoming available to small and medium-sized hotels. 

Multinational hotel chains and artificial intelligence

The availability of AI and big data solutions in the tourism industry made it possible to even small hotels to adopt technologies. However, they might don’t know which process to trust the AI with. This is why it is best to look at the multinational hotel chains as they have been using AI for quite some time now.

IHG Hotel Chain

The IHG Hotel Chain has hotels in Europe, North America, and China. Managing that big workforce is an HR challenge. This is why IHG decided to use AI for HR purposes. They needed a solution to help them find employees that perfectly align with its branding strategy.

What did they do

The hotel partnered with a company that specializes in AI-powered predictive analytics. Then they had the AI assess all customer-facing senior managers based on emotional intelligence, skills, behaviors, personality types, and cognition. The AI then cross-referenced these profiles with KPI(s).

What were the results?

The results that followed include better job candidate and recruiter experience, huge time savings, and no risk of personal or preconceived bias.

Herods Hotels — Fattal Hotels Group

Herods hotels wanted to run a more profitable operation. The management discovered that they could do better in ancillary sales and room upgrades

What did they do

Herods partnered up with UpStay, an AI-powered upgrade solution for hotels. UpStay works automatically, and the hotel was able to integrate it with their property management system right out of the box.

What were the results?

With UpStay, Herods Hotels were able to convert 13% of the guests to buy additional ancillaries and upgrade their rooms pre-arrival.

NH Hotel Group

One of the most famous Spanish hotel groups, NH Hotel Group, had to deal with a massive volume of emails daily. It became borderline impossible for their team to handle it.

What did they do

To process thousands of email requests daily, NH Hotel Group didn’t have any other choice but to use an AI solution with great Natural Language Processing capabilities. Thanks to NLP, the AI understood what the emails were about and sorted them according to the level of urgency and importance.

What were the results?

NH Hotel Group saw immediate results for implementing an AI-based solution. The AI was able to identify reservation requests and immediately notify human agents. As a result, the hotel improved the reservation experience for guests and increased ADR.

AI is no longer a brand new technology. It has been around for a decade now. What’s new are the numerous use cases. AI has disrupted the tourism industry. It has impacted all vital processes running from destination exploration to the experience guests have in hotels.

We are looking forward to seeing new AI use cases in the sector and AI helping hotels of all sizes cut through the noise and achieve outstanding results.

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Maína is the Head of Business Development Americas at UpStay. She graduated in Hotel Management and in German language and completed an MBA in Digital Marketing and E-commerce. She is a professional from the hospitality industry with experience as Distribution Director of a Brazilian group of 30 hotels and the Americas Director of an international Sales & Marketing representation company.
Maína considers herself an excellent communicator. She is a native speaker of Portuguese and speaks 4 other languages: English, Spanish, French, and German.

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