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    AI in Hospitality by Dr Jassim Haji

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    AI is playing an increasingly pivital role in hospitality management, primarily because of its ability to carry out traditionally human functions at any time of the day. This potentially means that hotel owners can save significant money, eliminate human error and deliver superior service. However, we have not seen many AI implementations in this sector within the Middle East, except those with corporate AI solutions.

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    Specifically, customer service is a vital part of the travel industry, with hotels often living and dying based on the way they treat their customers. With artificial intelligence, the possibilities for improving this aspect are almost endless, ranging from increased personalisation to tailored recommendations. Below are some more examples:

    Pricing

    Hyperdynamic pricing allows booking engines to automatically search social media, past user data, and even world news to display rates that maximize earning potential. For example, if there is a large conference filling up hotels nearby, the artificially intelligent software will instantly adjust prices to reflect the increase in demand.

    Revenue Management Predications

    Increase RM and help save the environment with energy, water, and waste-monitoring tools. Hotels such as Hilton have been using them for a decade, with no sign of going back. Hilton properties have reduced carbon emissions equivalent to removing 390,350 cars from the road, while saving over $1 billion in utility costs, all through their proprietary LightStay program.

    Feedback

    Know your customers through the feedback they leave on major hotel review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. But instead of always going through the process manually, use an intelligent tool to do it for you. Machine learning (a subset of AI) makes it easy to automatically collect, store, and analyze data from across a variety of online sources.

    Chatbot

    A chatbot is one of the most exceptional ways to ask for feedback from your guests after their checkout. Chatbots are capable of sending your previous guests feedback forms along with some incentives for filling them out. This is an excellent way to encourage them to book at your hotel for their next trip to town.

    Recruitment

    Recruiters are using machine learning to hire hotel employees in ways that go beyond the outdated resume model. Using personality profiles of existing team members and gamification-based tests, IHG and other top hotel brands have recruited thousands of employees.

    Data Science

    Data Analysis is another way in which AI is being utilised within the hotel industry away from pure customer service. In this capacity, the technology can be used to quickly sort through large amounts of data and draw important conclusions about customers, or potential customers.

    Robots

    AI in the hospitality industry can also be used to deliver in-person customer service. We are already seeing the development of robots with artificial intelligence and the potential for this technology to grow is enormous. Already, it is able to deal with basic customer-facing situations. It is worth mentioning that several AI initiatives have been started in GCC, and particularly H.H. Shk Nasser’s AI Research and Development Centre in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

    by Dr. Jassim Haji

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