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Tech-augmented hospitality ‘pushing the boundaries’

Artificial intelligence solutions are at the forefront of tech-augmented hospitality, finds new survey.

Automated service solutions, including robotic bellhops, voice-driven smart hotel rooms and biometric security checks are some of the things tomorrow’s travellers can expect.

Accommodation, which has traditionally been purchased in a standard method, will need to adapt, says a new research study, ‘Drivers of Change in Hospitality’. The survey of over 7,500 respondents spanning across 12 markets was undertaken by Amadeus and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).

The number of international travellers is expected to almost double by 2036, and the hospitality industry is changing and adapting to meet their demands.

Rise in number of international travellers.

Rise in number of international travellers.

“Modern expectations around travel continue to become more complex and sophisticated, with shifting consumer dynamics and increasingly intelligent technology pushing the boundaries of what is possible. IHG has proven itself to be pioneering and ambitious over many decades and this paper offers perspective on how the hotel experience could further evolve in the not too distant future,” George Turner, chief commercial and technology officer, IHG, said.

The survey found that 61 per cent of global travellers state a preference for hotels to be priced so that they can have add-on bespoke options. Attribute-based booking, where guests pick and choose the individual components of their room, is also emerging.

New selling models include guests being able to book a room for a length of time that suits their requirements, rather than a traditional overnight stay.

Hospitality providers may need to strike the right balance between automated solutions and human interaction. The study suggests that technology is an adjunct to support human interaction, not a replacement for it, as over half of respondents (67 per cent), said they preferred interacting with a person.

In gaining guest loyalty, hospitality providers could deliver memorable, shareable experiences. The majority of global travellers (70 per cent) would like hotels to provide more advice and tips about the local area, with just 20 per cent reporting they received suggestions from the hotel.

Using social media to benefit travellers has been taken up by Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. The chain offers followers seasonal secret passwords to win add-ons at check in, such as an upgrade, a bottle of wine, or a food treat from the chef. Guest-generated content such as travel moments are also a feature on Kimpton’s social feeds, creating a connection between hotel and traveller.

Read ‘Drivers of Change in Hospitality’ here.