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Technology


promote and facilitate easier access for guests to ancillary services in our properties and the ALL ecosystem, whether that be food and beverage or entertainment experiences. We believe hotels are not only a place where guests stay, but also where they work, live and play, enjoying a variety of services such as ‘earn and burn’.


After all, hospitality is rooted in human values and is the heartbeat of the Accor ecosystem. We have a true passion for service and believe in the power of human relationships. Post-Covid, this spirit of hospitality will be reinforced and supported by technological solutions rather than replaced. The hotel industry must strike the right balance between pushing digitalisation as the innovative means to create a fast-paced world and providing flexibility and personalisation for our guests.


Contactless


engagement is here to stay, and is not limited to payments.


adjust outcomes according to the search a guest enters online. It can be deployed to strengthen customer support capabilities, and can be used to suggest relevant actions for the hotelier, such as birthday wishes or anniversary celebrations. While AI is totally digital and ‘contactless’, the services it provides to hotels enhance the bespoke service guests seek when travelling to hotels. Indeed, these technological solutions are not designed to replace the unique human aspect of the hospitality sector but to enhance the personalised service it provides.


“The strongest indication of just how rapidly technology is expanding comes by way of AI, which aims to collate and interpret guest data and map user preferences to personalise the guest journey.”


Marco Conte, Dorchester Collection


In the longer term, we would expect these digital platforms and systems to complement a hybrid hospitality model; one that can easily adjust to virtual, contact-free requirements but, importantly, can continue to deliver a high-quality guest experience that anticipates their every need – what we term ‘augmented hospitality’.


Marco Conte 28


Such systems are also important to the further development of our lifestyle loyalty programme, ALL. It offers our members advantages, rewards and unique experiences. The digitalisation of the in-hotel experience is a unique opportunity for us to engage our clients more fully with ALL, and help us sign up more members; we recently launched QR code-enabled enrolment as one way of achieving this. Wider adoption of ALL will, in turn, better


Marco Conte, resident manager at Dorchester Collection It’s no secret that technology has become an integral part of our society, and the hotel industry needs to leverage the resources and systems at their disposal to retain loyal clients. Ultimately, by providing our clients with exceptional service and unrivalled accommodations, furnished with all the latest technologies, we can significantly enlarge the number of guests who choose our hotel for living. As technologies now influence every field of hotel development, up-to-date custom software for hospitality will help to deal with the competition, attract the attention of new customers, improve performance and succeed.


Contactless payments are particularly important in this area, helping to improve the speed of transactions. The emergence of mobile wallets and wearables has only expanded this domain. In the past, contactless payments have usually been seen as a convenience, but they have emerged as much more of a necessity in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many customers are reluctant to handle cash or use keypads to enter their PINs, while using contactless methods as much as possible can also help keep your employees safe too. Perhaps the strongest indication of just how rapidly technology is expanding comes by way of AI, which aims to collate and interpret guest data and map user preferences to personalise the guest journey. The technology has enormous potential, but it is my opinion that while it will play a profound role in hotel technology, this method has only recently entered into the marketplace. We should never forget that all these technologies can improve our capacity to deliver experiences but cannot ever replace the human capacity to create relationships. That task – and privilege – is, now more than ever, up to hoteliers themselves. ●


Hotel Management International / www.hmi-online.com


DGLimages/Shutterstock.com


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