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Hospitality industry focuses on the Rise of the Robots

Our Experience. Your Success.©

The recent BDRC Insights Forum was a full day event in London. Driven by exclusive customer insight data, it was a chance for industry luminaries to tackle the threats, opportunities and challenges faced by the hospitality industry. Our very own Kelly Cronin, Director of Revenue for the UK at Interstate Europe Hotels & Resorts, was part of the debate as a panellist for The Rise of the Robots session. Here, in our latest blog, Kelly gives us her highlights from the day.

“I was delighted to represent Interstate and take an active part in the BDRC Insights Forum. It was a packed agenda and the programme included everything from market data and insight to influence brand strategy, user experience, the meetings industry and more.

“As part of the Rise of the Robots session I was joined by Frank Reeves from Avvio, Nick Crawford from the Twist Consultancy and Steve Lowry from Umi Digital to discuss the impact of various technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) across the hospitality sector.

“A thought-provoking presentation by Frank kicked off proceedings which looked at the different definitions involved in AI, the massive growth, adoption and investment in the AI space and how AI is used in the transport and health care sectors.

“This was a great lead up to the panel as it helped to spark a really interesting and valuable debate about the use of these technologies across our industry.

“From my perspective we are approached all the time by different technology providers and the quantity of them can easily become overwhelming if a methodical approach to these enquiries isn’t adopted. As a panellist, I was able to use my experience to delve into how a third-party management company such as Interstate can provide owners with a level of expertise to navigate the market and ensure both the owner and customer can clearly see the benefit of any investment in this area.

“Another major talking point was around how dynamic customers are these days. Different work and pleasure requirements can mean people want different things at different times. Customers can’t always be put into one box which poses an important question for AI – how does it consider this to be most effective?

“It’s important to remember that hospitality will always be an experience led business so we have to incorporate that into our thinking when it comes to technological advancements and this lead our panel discussion into the area of future employment.

“The way forward is to use AI to drive roles that will benefit from technological input and then use human capabilities where that fits best – where creativity, emotion and empathy are needed, especially in our industry. There will be many jobs, those that exist now or are yet to appear, that will always need the human touch.

“In summary this is a fascinating subject with advancements every day – I look forward to what tomorrow brings.”