Ho­tel adopts AI to stay ahead of pack

Ser­vice ro­bots, vir­tual re­al­ity equip­ment among tech­nolo­gies de­ployed

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HOSPITALITY -

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.

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

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

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