Robotic welcomes in hotels are welcomed
By IC, Sep 11 2020 08:00AM
Even for those that can speak English, arriving at a hotel to check-in can sometimes be difficult. Whether it’s because the staff and the customer don’t speak the same language or perhaps because the hotel doesn’t have 24hr reception, the simple transaction of ID and credit card in exchange for room key can lead to the first impression or experience of a hotel being a bad one.
Our research suggests that consumers’ vision of the future would be to have an AI receptionist or robot as an option to choose from. Today’s travellers demand convenient and speedy self-service opportunities from the hospitality sector and a future where robots greet guests, offer check-in and check-out, organise room services, provide local information and organise taxis doesn’t seem so far away for many and our experience is that increasing numbers of travellers have already experienced versions of self-service and regard it as a positive attribute.
Just as airlines overcame initial concerns about staff-less check-in, the idea of not having to wait at a busy reception or avoiding the panic when you can’t get into a hotel after hours when you’re tired and frustrated appeals to many travel consumers.
Our exploration into what might differentiate one hotel from another in the future suggests that some consumers will always want the personal touch and some hoteliers will want to ensure that high quality, friendly service is what their hotel is known for, but since it is widely recognised that time is precious and that expeditious service and not wasting time are all ways of delivering luxury, even high end properties should consider having AI receptions as part of their check-in options.