Emerging Trends in Hospitality

Emerging Trends in Hospitality: How AI is Shaping the Future

Artificial intelligence (AI) has gained traction in recent years as AI-powered search engines have become accessible from personal use, workplaces to colleges and universities. As a result, people have more confidence in AI to produce accurate and reliable results and provide helpful services. 

In a global study conducted by the University of Queensland, Australia, 68% of people said they used common AI applications, but 41% were unaware that AI was a key component in these applications. This is the common scenario we face with AI applications today. The seamless experience enabled by AI hinders even everyday users from recognising the AI element in their daily activities as their robotic interface chipped away. 

For employees and customers alike, AI in hospitality industry has much to offer. AI-powered technologies, such as machine learning and natural language processing, have the potential to streamline operations, personalise guest interactions and drive revenue growth.

In this article 

Chatbots for guest experience

One of the key areas where AI meets the hospitality industry is the way in which it enhances the guest experience through conversational AI. Not only does it elevate the guest experience for customers, hotels can offer round-the-clock assistance to guests, answer their questions, handle reservations and even suggest personalised recommendations while at the same time cutting down on operational workload. 

The ability to facilitate AI chatbots in everyday applications like Whatsapp makes it easier and seamless for customers to keep up with their booking updates. On the other hand, its ability to integrate within the current property management systems (PMS) is a huge plus for the hoteliers. 

The financial director of Theaterhotel Venlo noted that after his hotel started using Runnr.ai, a virtual hotel concierge powered by conversational AI, they received 60% fewer inbound questions and requests – praising the seamless AI-powered chatbot system.

As for the Marketing Manager at Excite Hotels, they have not only reduced the repetitive tasks but also achieve proactive engagement with their customers effortlessly. 

Chatbots in hospitality are not just an emerging trend, but an existing one that has been modified and strengthened by the latest wave of technological developments. As hotels receive queries from different time zones and speakers of different languages, chatbots can now answer questions in the customer’s native language without the need for additional translation tools on either side – a quality which Runnr.ai is hailed for along with its guest analytics, messaging dashboard (with a switch to manual mode) and proactive interaction services. 

Finally, AI-powered sentiment analysis models predict customer mood by decoding sentence structure, leading to more accurate and empathetic responses. Saillant Hotel, a valued client of Runnr.ai, reported that all four of their locations have received higher ratings and more Google reviews thanks to Runnr.ai’s sentiment analysis feature.

 

AI-powered recommendation engines

AI has the power to analyse large data sets and generate valuable insights for businesses. By carefully examining customers’ preferences, past behaviour, and demographics, it offers an opportunity to provide customers with personalised services they may not have known they needed. 

In the fast-paced hospitality industry, pioneers and early adopters are using proactive upselling, cross-selling, and predictive guest analysis to optimise pricing and inventory management in real-time based on market conditions as in the case with “the Success Story of Hotel Jakarta”. Coupling the stats with revenue data analysis can help hotels identify patterns and anomalies, revealing new opportunities and trends. 

The marketing department can then use this information to forecast customer behaviour and market trends, enabling them to make more effective data-driven decisions and implement better marketing strategies. Not only can such capability be used by a large chain of hotels but also by small independent hotels with only a small cost. 

Integration of Virtual Reality

AI is set to transform the hotel guest experience through empathetic chatbots, personalised recommendation engines and services, etc. It is also through combination with new technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) that AI can truly revolutionise the hospitality industry. 

The potential customers may use VR headsets or mobile phones to immerse themselves in the virtual tour through the hotel rooms and amenities or even events in the metaverse. 

As users move through different spaces, an AI system can analyse their interactions. This includes which rooms they linger in and what amenities they seem interested in. Based on these insights, tailored information or offers can be provided to enhance the user experience.

We have yet to see the synergy between AI and VR grow out of its nascent stage and become ready for widespread adoption. Meanwhile, Runnr.ai provides hotels with a chance to visually showcase their amenities, such as the restaurant, bar, parking garage, and rooms, to potential customers.

Common Challenges in Adoption of AI Systems

According to Statista 2022, common challenges which may delay or confuse the enterprises in adoption of AI systems are due to the lack of knowledge, the fear that it is costly, or of the project complexity, etc. To mitigate such challenges, Runnr.ai offers easy-to-integrate Conversational AI solutions which take less than an hour to get it up and running, including half an hour to show the employees how the application works, with a cost of less than three euros per room. 

 

Summary

There is an urgent need for both hoteliers and restaurants to adopt conversational AI to provide 24/7 omni-lingual customer support and a seamless guest experience on existing messaging services. This integration should be compatible with the hotel’s current management tools.  

Additionally, AI-powered recommendation tools are effective in hotel cross-selling and upselling by analysing and predicting large amounts of data. These techniques are most effective when the appropriate group of guests, such as business or leisure travellers, families, or couples, are targeted with the right services at the right time. 

The hospitality sector has witnessed the potential of AI to unlock a new height of customer experience and create new business opportunities. Its practicality is rapidly expanding in the hospitality industry and is as dynamic as the technology itself – as we are witnessing in collaboration with new technologies like VR or AR. 

To ensure that the technology is the right fit for your business, it is essential to see it in action through a demo run.

Now is the time to seize the opportunity and be a part of the future of guest communication!


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