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Artificial Intelligence in hotel marketing: use cases and perspectives

Artificial Intelligence in hotel marketing: use cases and perspectives


Although the technology has advanced significantly in recent years, a real revolution in Artificial Intelligence occurred only last year. But in the tourism industry its true impact will be based on how it is implemented for practical purposes. A group of experts from leading hotel chains spoke about it recently at FITUR, read on to find out more. 

Madrid, February 2024 – Within the framework of FITUR, the international tourism fair that took place recently in Madrid, a round table discussion entitled “Artificial Intelligence in hotel marketing: real use cases” was co-organised by BEONx and Hotelverse

Moderated by Lorena Nieto, Enterprise Account Executive at Google, the conversation took place with leading hotel industry professionals including Gabriel Bergas from Bahia Principe, Juan Campins from RIU, Sergio Juan Lozano from HYATT, and Jaume Vidal from Barceló Hotels.

Gabriel Bergas of Bahia Principe began by stating: “Artificial intelligence is a real revolution, it is not a bluff, like augmented reality was. AI has started, it is going to move forward and it will have a brutal impact on all aspects of our lives”. Bergas emphasised that generative AI will increase worker productivity and creativity, highlighting the importance of understanding how to apply AI to specific use cases to obtain tangible business results, saying that in a few years the technology would be “a commodity”. 

In the end it is what we are all looking for: machines to work for us so that we can offer a better service to customers,” according to Juan Campins of RIU. He perceived generative AI as an opportunity to personalise and automate at scale, improving the customer experience and optimising internal processes.

From HYATT, Sergio Juan Lorenzo spoke about the revolution to come with general AI and how this technology can improve processes, optimise costs and increase revenue. “What we are seeing now is simply the tip of the iceberg, there is much more below waiting for us.” 

“Our own industry has changed because of AI, emphasising that data is fundamental,” emphasised Jaume Vidal of Barceló Hotels. He indicated the shift in the industry towards the importance of data, highlighting that AI is based on the ability to analyse and use relevant data to make informed decisions to be profitable.

Speakers discussed the importance of focusing on use cases that will help the businesses: whether it is to help with customer experience or to help with employee productivity, etc.

Participants discussed the importance of measuring success in generative AI projects. Gabriel Bergas commented that: “practically everything is measurable, you just have to know what to measure. It is crucial to define the KPIs for each specific use case”. Juan Campins, on the other hand, highlighted the diversity of metrics depending on the focus of the use case, be it online marketing, a website, or a chatbot.

Participants shared use cases of generative AI in their companies. The importance of training, change management to lose the environment to “surf the AI wave” and the orchestration of different artificial intelligences to improve processes and customer experience was highlighted. Several of the AI use cases focused on the voice of customer, which helped to synthesise, focus and prioritise, indicating where to improve, in what volume or on what priorities. 

Other use cases focused on the implementation of machine learning in the personalisation of digital storefronts, increasing customer engagement and improving conversion metrics, extending this success to email marketing and display campaigns, making advertising management more efficient with personalised creatives. 

Also discussed was the implementation of AI in call centres, through chatbots and call screening, which has served to increase efficiency in answering emails and providing more personalised interactions. Proper training of the team is essential, and the key is to orchestrate these artificial intelligences to improve processes and the customer experience, thereby increasing conversions.

The evolution of the importance of data was discussed, which has evolved from structured databases to today’s ability to know the customer in a specific and personalised way to drive customer-centric initiatives. In recent years, the transformation has focused on diversifying customer information, which at one time might have only known gender or marital status. Artificial intelligence makes it easier to analyse customer profiles for more effective marketing and revenue strategies.

Panellists also discussed how generative AI has affected internal teams in terms of role distribution and profiling. The importance of training for all roles and the democratisation of technology was highlighted. Participants emphasised that change management and interdepartmental collaboration are essential for successful projects.

The roundtable concluded by highlighting the importance of generative AI in the hospitality industry and the need to adapt to the technological revolution in a strategic and business-focused way. Emphasis was placed on continuous training, change management and the identification of profitable use cases, knowing how to detect and prioritise them one before the other as key elements for the successful implementation of artificial intelligence in tourism.

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