Over the past couple of years, AI has totally transformed hotel operations and efficiency by automating processes like booking and contactless check-in – freeing up staff to provide premium, personalized experiences to guests more quickly and affordably.
But how do hotel guests feel about AI? A new study from the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership is giving us a better idea – Professor Cristian Morosan and his former doctoral student Aslihan Dursun-Cengizci are uncovering just how accepting hotel guests are of AI tech.
Morosan said they looked at what could influence customers when they outsource decisions to AI, and the most important factors were perceived ethics and benefits.
It’s essential for hotels to be accountable and transparent about data privacy and security to make sure AI is used ethically and responsibly.
PwC estimates that by 2030, AI could add almost $16 trillion to the global economy.
They predict the biggest economic gains will be in China (26% GDP boost) and North America (14.5% GDP boost), making up 70% of the total global impact.AI is changing the hospitality industry in big ways.
Hotels can now provide more personalized services, thanks to AI-powered data systems and chatbots that tailor recommendations, anticipate preferences, and give smoother interactions to increase guest satisfaction and loyalty.
Morosan puts it this way: “Think about it—you arrive at the hotel, already checked in with a mobile room key, no need to wait at the front desk.
And then, based on what AI knows about you, it’s already made a dinner reservation for you.”
AI can even help hotels maximize profits by working out the best room rates in real-time and providing detailed data analysis so operators can use customer info to boost their marketing programs.
But hotels also need to be wary of the risks AI technology could have on the guest experience.
Morosan emphasizes that they want assurance that AI is making the right decisions for them.
Morosan said that when guests don’t agree with an AI’s decisions, it really hurts their experience and makes them less likely to use it.
But he added that consumers are open to using AI in their travels, as long as hotels focus on how ethical and beneficial the decisions are.
He stressed that it’s important to have a mix of AI and human interaction, since people will always want that personal touch.
About The University of Houston
UH is a top-tier, Phi Beta Kappa public research university in Houston, the fourth-largest city in the US and one of the most diverse regions in the country.
UH serves this competitive region with world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships, and is federally designated as Hispanic- and Asian-American-Serving with an enrollment of over 47,000 students.
For more information, visit http://www.hrm.uh.edu