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Where AI Benefits Guest Experience

The hospitality industry is about to undergo a revolution driven by artificial intelligence (AI). From personalised recommendations to automated tasks, AI is poised to transform how guests interact with hotels, short-term rentals and other hospitality verticals.

When thinking about AI, many people’s minds go straight to chatbots like Chat-GPT. While it’s true that these tools are incredible, their principal use is just that - as tools. The biggest value from AI in guest experience will be unlocked by these tools running various processes that today, take many people lots of time to complete.

Delivering Personalised Guest Experience:

For most of us, the best trips we take are not those where we stay in a hotel, but when we stay with a friend or family member. It’s the old adage of ‘live like a local’ that many hospitality brands seek to re-create. But doing this well requires an intimate knowledge of your guest and an even more detailed knowledge of your surroundings.

AI provides a way to capture and analyse guest data to curate personalised experiences, ensuring each guest feels like a VIP. This could include learning that they are family, travelling with children and with an interest in history. The hotel could use this data to support everything from room setups to activity recommendations. Studies have shown that travellers appreciate personalised experiences, making them more likely to choose a hotel that offers them.

AI can also be used to create those recommendations and produce content for them - what activities should be recommended to a family, when are they available, and what else are they likely to enjoy?

Boosting Efficiency with Automation:

One of the best uses for AI is to automate repetitive tasks, freeing up valuable staff time. Guest-facing solutions powered by AI can answer basic questions, handle bookings, and upsell. These solutions free up physical staff time, allowing the team to focus on tasks where the human touch will maximise impact. Not everything can or should be automated. There is no replacement for a warm smile or a hello upon arrival.

AI will not replace physical staff in the future but will empower fewer well-trained members of staff to provide a higher quality service to more guests. It doesn't sense for staff to be keeping content up to date when AI can do it.

Proactive Problem-Solving for Satisfied Guests:

Bad reviews have one of the greatest impacts on hotels' key metrics. Any means to avoid bad reviews offer huge upside potential. One use of AI is to analyse guest sentiment through reviews and social media, allowing hotels to identify potential issues before they escalate. This enables proactive problem-solving, ensuring a smoother guest experience. Hotels that leverage AI for proactive guest concerns see a significant increase in positive reviews.

Data-Driven Insights for Better Service:

Collecting guest's data and analysing it to produce useful insights is another fantastic use case for AI. The ability to analyse vast amounts of guest data to identify trends and preferences has not been accessible to the majority of hospitality brands before now as this would rely on physical data analysts.

When you have actionable data, you can tailor offerings and services to better meet guest expectations. For example, if you know why guests are travelling and what they are interested in doing when they arrive, you can market to them based on this information to increase the likelihood of them making a booking.

The Future of Guest Experience with AI

AI is still in its early stages within the hospitality industry, but the potential is vast. As we continue to see AI evolve, we can expect even more innovative applications that enhance guest experience. These include hyper-personalised recommendations, real-time feedback analysis, and even emotion recognition for exceptional service.

While AI offers tremendous benefits, the human touch remains irreplaceable. The goal of AI should be to empower staff and elevate the guest experience, not replace human interaction.

By embracing AI strategically, hospitality businesses can create a future where guest experiences are seamless, personalised, and truly unforgettable.


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