Hotel adopts AI to stay ahead of pack
Service robots, virtual reality equipment among technologies deployed
A growing trend toward employing artificial intelligence technology in the hospitality industry is helping the sector remain innovative, according to Zhang Hongying, general manager of Kuntai Hotel Beijing Wangjing.
The high-level business hotel has adopted a number of AI technologies in recent years, upgrading different parts of the services it offers.
“We want to make our clients feel that we are a cutting-edge hotel,” said Zhang. “I always ask our management team to try emerging things so we can stay ahead of our peers’.”
In 2017, the hotel started to use AI service robots in its public and conference areas.
This year, it has introduced virtual reality equipment to its rooms, providing guests with a new experience.
These technological products add to the hotel’s charm and help it boost sales by attracting more clients, especially younger ones, according to Zhang.
She said the structure of its client base is changing, as the post1980 and post-1990 generations are becoming the hotels’ main customers.
Younger generations have more interest in advanced technology, accept it more easily and like to share their experiences through various media channels, she said
“The hospitality industry has changed dramatically in the decades since the 1980s,” said Zhang, adding that hotels are no longer held in such high esteem as they were and revenues have fallen.
“AI technology can help us to overcome the current labor shortage but won’t replace humans,” she said.
In October, the hotel is expected to employ robots in its reception area, where multiple skills, such as in languages and accounting, are required.
“Using robots can help to save on labor costs and also better complement staff services,” Zhang said.
“Hotels of a high standard should insist on face-to-face communication despite the use of AI technologies, for this is part of a warm and nuanced service.”
In recent years, competition in the hospitality industry has become fierce and most of the products that hotels offer are very similar, she said, adding that it is not easy for a hotel to develop its own technology.
“We have been seeking partners for cooperation and to meet the needs of clients,” said Zhang.
“The competitive advantages of our hotel are in our continuous efforts to launch new services and projects.
“We will continue in our efforts to innovate and enable guests to acquire different experiences from our latest technology.”
Kuntai Hotel Beijing has set itself the goal of making more technological services available to customers by its 10th anniversary in 2021, with more AI technologies to be deployed in its rooms, corridors and conference facilities.
“With the support of advanced technology, we will continue to increase our operational efficiency and service quality,” Zhang said.
Visitors show their interest in service robots displayed at Kuntai Hotel Beijing Wangjing during a recent celebration event.
The hotel’s revamped lobby. general manager of Kuntai Hotel Beijing Wangjing