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Tech with a human touch

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Earlier this month Amadeus and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) released a research paper, Drivers of Change in Hospitality, produced in collaboration with Foresight Factory and Cornell University. The paper identified three trends that the sector must respond to meet the needs of the consumer of the future: The Rise of Tech-Augmented Hospitality; Achieving Cult Status at Scale and The Beginning of the End for Room Types.

There is no doubt that the hospitality industry has sort of lagged behind other industries in terms of technology. But that is changing. The industry is quickly adopting technology that will help it offer seamless guest experiences. Like Japan’s Henn na Hotel Maihama Tokyo Bay staffed entirely by robots or the Alibaba group’s new FlyZoo hotel in China using facial recognition in lieu of room keys.

However, being a service industry, striking the right balance between human interaction and automated solutions is the tricky challenge. Hoteliers should focus on using technology to empower staff to enhance the stay experience but at the same time keeping the service human. They must not lose the art of welcoming the guest, or thanking them when they leave. It is this differentiation that will build customer loyalty.

As Seema Roy, area MD – South Asia, MEA for Preferred Hotels & Resorts says, loyalty programmes can potentially be the single most important lever to differentiate hotel offerings. The database built from a loyalty programme provides invaluable insights into guests’ stay behaviour and preferences, enabling hotels to provide more personalised experiences. Read her insights in this issue.

We also have GMs of leading hotels in Bengaluru speaking about the market in India’s IT and manufacturing hub, the location of our upcoming tradeshow. From June 13 to 15, at Palace Grounds, we are poised to once again have an insightful networking and knowledge sharing platform that shouldn’t be missed by the HoReCa sector in Namma Bengaluru.

Steena Joy
Express Food & Hospitality
[email protected]


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