Welcome to the third in our series of Hotel 2025 blogs, where we will be sharing insights from the Oracle Hospitality report, Hotel 2025, including perspectives from more than 150 hotel operators and some 2,700 consumers on the emerging technological innovations redefining guest experiences.
Artificial intelligence is a field of computer science in pursuit of developing computers that can simulate human intelligence – specifically, learning, reasoning and self-correction. Though the term was first coined in the 1950s, AI reached a major milestone in 2017 by beating the world’s best player of the Chinese board game called, Go. To put this achievement into perspective, the number of potential moves in Go is so large that you simply cannot enumerate all the possible outcomes, proving that for the first time, AI could be programmed to truly mimic the learning process of the human brain and “out think” a world champion. The company behind this achievement stated that the algorithm could be applied to many other applications. Which raises the question: How can the hospitality industry leverage this powerful technology?
Suggestions and recommendations based on search history and preferences are already largely in use, but adding AI technology to the mix elicited excitement among hoteliers and consumers surveyed in Hotel 2025:
One of the biggest challenges of successful upselling is making the offer relevant. Today, huge amounts of customer data can be utilized for this effort, but the timing of the offer is crucial, too. By using AI, hoteliers can leverage this knowledge for any given customer environment – be it the hour of day, location, or remaining vacation time - creating a powerful impression on their guests. Studies have shown that successful upselling increases online reputation by 25%. According to our survey, 2/3 believe that this technology will be mainstream or mass adopted by 2025, with almost 70% finding this to be appealing. More notably, 60% believe think that AI technology will improve the guest experience and 38% believe it will employee efficiency.
Nothing makes customers feel more valued than having thoughtful hotel staff who understand their wants and needs. Thankfully, AI is on standby, ready to suggest targeted, in-destination recommendations for guests during their stay:
Cou-Cou, Brunost, Doubles, Papri Chaat and Dosa. In case you’re a little confused, these are a handful of world foods and dishes you probably haven’t heard of. Guests travel thousands of miles to see, experience, learn, and of course, taste what countries have to offer. But how do travellers know what to try? AI is capable of producing targeted dining recommendations for guests based on their history and preferences, turning the unknown into the unforgettable. According to our survey, 4/5 would find dining recommendations very or somewhat appealing, and 72% believe it will be mainstream or mass adopted by 2025. Almost two thirds say targeted dining recommendations will improve the guest experience. Combined with the fact that the cost of such implementation is far less of a concern for hotel operators, AI-powered dining recommendations seem certain for early adoption.
In general, AI is perceived as more affordable when compared with other technologies explored in this blog series. And its ability to utilize data and provide customers with tailored recommendations and offers makes the technology hard to overlook. It deserves consideration to be placed front and center before consumers, who might be compelled to tout AI’s benefits in their reviews and recommendations – which continue to gain influence in an era of social media.
We hope you found this blog interesting and informative. Keep an eye out for the next Hotel 2025 blog, which will explore the growing importance of voice activation in hospitality. To read a complete copy of Oracle Hospitality’s Hotel 2025 report, please download it here.