Hotel News Resource Mobile Edition

« | »

The Ever-increasing Role of AI in Hospitality – By Sophiene Ben Marzouk

A couple of robots standing next to each - Unsplash+

From boosting security to personalising guest interactions, AI is redefining efficiency and satisfaction in hospitality.

This article originally appeared on Hotel Management Network.

AI is seemingly permeating discussions every day. The technology, its use cases, and the call for legislation, are frequently featured in the national and international news agenda.

The hospitality industry is not immune, with a number of recent research reports highlighting the growth and demand for AI solutions to enhance efficiencies, increase productivity and ultimately positively impact the bottom line for hoteliers.

So let’s take a look at some of the recent forecasts. According to IndustryARC, the travel and hospitality AI market will surpass $1.2bn by 2026, with most of this adoption focused on utilising AI technologies to enhance customer service.

Meanwhile, a recent report from PwC revealed that over three quarters (76%) of hospitality executives are utilising AI specifically to personalise guest experiences and boost customer loyalty.

Furthermore, the 2022 Hotelier Technology Sentiment found that 70% of hotel executives are adopting various technological tools to increase operational efficiency, including AI solutions.

Finally, on a McKinsey & Company podcast at the end of last year, McKinsey partners discussed a new report on the future of Generative AI for the wider travel industry. They estimate that adoption of GenAI is set to result in $2 trillion – $4 trillion of incremental value across associated sectors.

The scope of opportunities are therefore clear, and the adoption of AI in hospitality marks a critical juncture for how hotels and the wider hospitality sector manages the guest experience specifically. In an industry in which personalisation reigns supreme, the sophisticated analytics that AI can provide supplies management teams with a plethora of opportunities to finetune their services.

AI in action: enhancing hotel operations from security to service

From shoring up security operations to improving resource allocation by monitoring footfall, and enabling better decision-making via business intelligence insights, AI promises to unlock a host of valuable use cases for the hotel industry.

An example of this in practice is the work that is being done by Media One Hotel in Dubai, which is utilising the application of computer vision. Computer vision technology analyses what is happening within a CCTV video and transforms it into actionable business intelligence and insights. Applications can range from identifying abandoned luggage and unauthorised presences, to detecting smoke, traffic at entrances, or blocked exits.

Media One Hotel started to use computer vision technology to enhance security operations. Practically, this has yielded benefits such as around car parking facilities, removing the need for all such areas to be manned in person by staff at all times. Instead, the security team in the control room are now able to analyse when and where to place the number of security personnel required, especially during busy periods.

However, the benefits for Media One Hotel have extended beyond security. Application of AI has enabled the hotel to also determine in real-time via automatically generated alerts if somebody on the front desk is not available and guests are building in the waiting area. This means the management team can automatically send more staff without there being a delay.

Expanding computer vision: deepening guest insights and security in hospitality

With increasing adoption and demand for computer vision within hospitality, the technology now forms key building blocks for improving the overall guest experience. Given that the heartbeat of the hospitality industry is its customer base, adopter are now eager to explore the technology across their facilities.

What hoteliers like Media One are now looking at in more detail is how to analyse the data provided by integrating AI into its existing security and camera network to provide further benefits from a business intelligence perspective.

This includes starting to consider looking at areas such as monitoring footfall and how to better manage guest flow across hotel spaces and restaurants. Another use case under consideration is evaluating the demographics of guests and what facilities within the hotel they make use of so that data can be used to inform how to effectively market venues to the right target audience moving forward.

Similarly, the technology can be utilised to control access to secure areas, such as VIP rooms, spas, gyms, or executive lounges. This not only enhances security but provides a frictionless experience for guests by streamlining touchpoints through communal areas.

Smart sustainability: using computer vision to reduce waste in hospitality

We can even take a step further and look at computer vision as a sustainability champion for hospitality. In restaurants and kitchens, computer vision can track food service areas to identify and reduce food waste. Cameras can monitor buffet lines, analysing food levels and guest behaviour.

This data can be used to optimise portion sizes, predict demand fluctuations, and identify areas prone to spoilage. Imagine intelligent systems alerting staff when food on a buffet line is running low, prompting them to prepare smaller, fresher batches to avoid unnecessary waste.

These are just a few examples, but they showcase the potential of computer vision to contribute to a more sustainable hospitality industry. By leveraging this technology, hotels can make significant strides towards reducing their environmental footprint while saving money on utility bills and food costs.

But as Media One Hotel is findings, the benefits of AI within hospitality and the hotel industry specifically don’t begin and end with security. AI solutions can also be used to monitor guest demographics and identify VIP clientele, alerting management to their presence in time for them to prepare for their arrival and provide the highest quality service. The end result is a harmonised approach to overall safety, security, operational efficiency, and, most importantly, customer safety and satisfaction.

In summary, integrating AI with existing security cameras unlocks the power of computer vision technology, like video analytics. This empowers hotels and hospitality venues to transform into smart spaces. With this comprehensive view, they can achieve better management of safety, security, operations and even contribute to sustainability goals.

Sophiene Ben Marzouk

Sophiene Ben Marzouk is regional manager for UAE, Levant & Africa at Ipsotek, an Eviden business. Connect with Sophiene on LinkedIn.

Posted by on May 15, 2024.

Categories: Technology

« | »

Recent Posts