TTG - Travel Trade Gazette
For Smarter, Better, Fairer Travel
Search
User Menu
Remember me

New to TTG?

You rang, m’lady?

You rang, m’lady?

One of the most playful applications of AI in travel has been in the design of hospitality robots that can perform the job of receptionist, concierge, luggage porter, cleaner and butler. They are finding work in airports (such as Seoul Incheon and Sydney International), restaurants (such as Zume Pizza and Cafe X in California) and hotels around the world. At the Hilton McLean hotel in Virginia, there’s Connie the robot concierge, powered by Watson, while in Singapore, there are two Hotel Jens with Relay droids designed by Savioke.


The M Social Singapore (part of Millennium Hotels and Resorts) also has a couple of Savioke robots. Chief marketing officer Franck Kermarrec says: “We have strongly embraced AI, particularly in Singapore, where the move to implement technology in hospitality is more advanced than in other parts of the world. Working with industry partners, we developed our robots, Aura and Ausca, to increase productivity, optimise operations and enhance guest experiences. An internal audit has shown that they save at least five hours per day.”


As well as Botlr robots and a ChatBotlr, which lets guests make simple requests during their stay via text message, Marriott’s Aloft brand has been innovating in the area of voice recognition by installing iPads in guest rooms that can control the temperature, lighting and turn on music simply by speaking to Siri. Since launching voice control technology at the Aloft Boston Seaport and Aloft Santa Clara in 2016, other hotels have followed suit. The Wynn in Las Vegas, for example, now has Amazon Echo speakers in every one of its 4,748 rooms.

Projected growth of artificial intelligence

Projected growth of artificial intelligence

Toni Stoeckl, vice-president of distinctive select service brands for Marriott International, says: “We see AI as a way to empower our associates to deliver an ever-higher level of service that goes beyond personalisation into anticipating the needs of our guests.


“With less time spent on routine tasks and armed with data, AI helps to create deeper, authentic face-to-face relationships with our guests.”


Clever stuff is going on behind the scenes too. Last summer, hotel booking engine provider Avvio announced “the world’s first direct booking platform powered by artificial intelligence”. Not long after, leading hospitality distribution company DHISCO partnered with AI-based travel platform Zumata to expand the global reach of both companies’ hotel buying and selling partners.


There is no doubt that AI is now becoming genuinely useful and powerful. Paul Daugherty, chief technology officer, Accenture, says: “AI is poised to transform business in ways we have not seen since the impact of computer technology in the late 20th century. As AI matures, it can propel economic growth and potentially serve as a powerful remedy for stagnant productivity and labour shortages of recent decades.”

This article is taken from the Spring 2018 edition of WTM Insights – a new magazine connecting the WTM community year-round

Our Next Events

TTG Luxury Travel Summit

TTG Luxury Travel Summit

Luxpo London

Luxpo London

TTG New to Cruise Festival

TTG New to Cruise Festival

TTG Luxury Travel Awards

TTG Luxury Travel Awards

TTG Top 50 Travel Agencies

TTG Top 50 Travel Agencies

TTG Travel Awards

TTG Travel Awards

TTG - Travel Trade Gazette
For Smarter, Better, Fairer Travel
TTG Media Limited.
Place of registration: England and Wales.
Company number 08723341.
Registered address: New Bridge Street House, 30-34 New Bridge Street, London EC4V 6BJ