A robot may not have a smile but it recognises faces, remembers names and guest preferences, characteristics and behaviours. Such is the changing experience of hospitality and the designated theme for the next Arabian Travel Market – “Cutting Edge Technology and Innovation”
The impact of technology on hotels, travel and tourism is multi-dimensional, ranging from voice and facial recognition, chatbots and beacon technology, to virtual reality, blockchain and robot concierge. As one of the fastest growing regional hospitality markets globally, the GCC is an innovative technology-reliant industry.
In 2015 the world’s first robot-run hotel opened in Japan. Henn-na Hotel features a multi-lingual animatronic dinosaur at reception that helps with check-in and check-out as well as robot porters and a giant mechanical arm that stores luggage in individual drawers.
While automation is forecast to replace a large number of jobs, between 39 and 73 million in the US alone, according to a study by McKinsey Global Institute, the report also states that innovative technology will not be a purely negative disrupter.
According to the latest research conducted by Colliers International, personalisation Artificial Intelligence (AI) could increase hotel revenues by over 10 percent and reduce costs by more than 15 percent – with hotel operators expecting technology such as voice and facial recognition, virtual reality and biometrics to be mainstream by 2025.
Looking to the future, the use of robots within the hospitality industry is becoming more commonplace with Colliers predicting the global sale of guest relation robots to reach 66,000 units by 2020. Deployed to improve guests’ overall experience in a hotel, these robots offer a range of uses from artificially intelligent chatbots designed to assist with the customer service process, through to robot concierge and butlers which have the ability to deliver luggage, handle check-in and check-outs and deliver meals 24/7 to guests efficiently.
With more and more AI innovations available for guests to express both satisfaction and grievance, the influence of such technology and the usage of social listening tools are expected to become standard as we move closer to 2030.
ATM 2018 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, with representation from 141 countries over the four days. The 25th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre.
The show is considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector. It is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. Arabian Travel Market 2019 will take place in Dubai from Sunday, 28thApril to Wednesday, 1stMay 2019.
To find out more, please visit: www.arabiantravelmarketwtm.com.