Hotels have been traditionally cautious regarding the adoption of technology, but dramatically beneficial advances are being made throughout the hospitality industry. On the leading edge of innovation for hoteliers are the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning. These two closely related forms of computerized automation are often confused, or even used interchangeably. However, machine learning is actually a branch and the method of artificial intelligence, which affords the most potential for the effective leveraging of the vast amounts of Big Data available to hotels.
These technologies often conjure fears in some people of computers replacing humans, but in truth these disciplines are capable of enhancing rather than replacing our lives. For hoteliers specifically, they offer much promise for the future, and are already improving revenue generation and elevating the guest experience where currently utilized.
Hotel access to Big Data in concert with intelligent software systems can transform hotel operations, behind the scenes in ways the guests cannot see, but can make the hotel property eminently more profitable. Some hotels and chains are now leveraging aggregate data using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve utility efficiency at their properties. For example, numerous sources may be mined in combination to reduce energy consumption at their hotels. Local climate and weather data, past energy consumption histories, and fluctuations in electric rates can be compiled and analyzed. In this way, energy profiles of each building can be created and future projections may be effectively formulated. Because of the nature of the hospitality industry, hotels also tend to be energy wasters. Energy consumption is largely out of the control of hoteliers when guests are physically in their rooms, however AI enabled technology can return systems to their most efficient levels in their absence.
Hotel service efficiency levels can be vastly improved as well with AI. This can be achieved by analyzing trends impacting which hotel services guests are utilizing, and which ones they are not or are being underutilized. In this way, precious hotel resources may be accurately employed and not squandered on little-used services. Additionally, hotel marketing is being revolutionized in this manner with Big Data armed artificial intelligence. It is vitally important for any hotel to truly understand their guests, so their needs, wants and desires can be effectively predicted in advance.
Big Data can help hotel marketers identify which customers offer hotels the highest long-term value. The creation of relevant marketing messages may then be created to reach the right customers in a timely fashion.
In part two of this series we will examine a few ways in which machine learning will have a tremendous impact upon the hospitality industry going forward.