By Anil Goel
The world is changing faster than ever before with technology continuously transforming daily lives and experiences. Internet-of-Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and automation are no longer terms encountered only in science fiction. These new technologies are being leveraged by brands across industries to revolutionize various aspects of a consumer’s daily life from healthcare, privacy, home security to communication.
It is safe to say that innovative technology has led to disruption in customer experience in every industry in the 21st century, and the hospitality vertical is surely not an exception to this rule. Below are tech-driven solutions that are shaping the hospitality industry today.
In the Philippine hospitality and tourism sector, more stakeholders are seeing the wisdom in adopting such technologies, if not actually slowly making the switch. Brands are upgrading their operations by digitalizing bookings, payment systems, and even room service, among others.
During the Tourism and Hospitality Tech Summit Expo held in November 2018, Department of Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat highlighted the importance of technology in boosting the country’s tourism and raising awareness to preserve tourist attractions.
All these do not mean that the hospitality industry will become completely automated though. Technology cannot replicate the experience of staying at one’s favorite hotel where one has a lifetime worth of connections and memories. These new technologies are aimed to support humans in delighting guests while making the overall process more advanced and efficient by eliminating middle layers and the unnecessary delays and losses involved in manual, routine tasks. We will still require humans to focus on meaningful customer service interactions and tackling more complex issues with guests that cannot be easily automated. This will enable businesses to build a consumer-friendly model, providing immense value to both the customer and the business.
While there might be certain barriers to the adoption of the above technologies due to existing infrastructure, security concerns or the complex interactions involved between multiple stakeholders, these are all potentially disruptive innovations and there is no limit to the value they will generate for the ecosystem. Each new technological development and scientific advancement will continue to make the world more connected and evolve toward a more personalized, delightful experience for the consumer.
The author is the group chief technology and product officer at OYO Hotels and Homes