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What Leisure & Hospitality Professionals Should Know About Cloud


What were the factors that helped the leisure and hospitality industry recover after pandemic?

Although the unprecedented pandemic had a significant impact on the industry as hotels, airlines, cruises, restaurants, and many other venues experienced very low activity during lockdowns, the recovery has bounced back quicker than expected, primarily driven by high levels of pent-up demand. Consumer savings that were built up and retained during the pandemic have helped people replace “stay home” practices with revenge travel and socializing, forcing the industry to adapt to the new normal. An increasing number of people are motivated to leave their homes and start traveling with even more passion than before, with brand-new expectations of convenience and brand experiences.

Why do the leisure and hospitality industry digitize the customer experience?

Travelers now require changeless, contactless, timeless, and audienceless experiences. Thus, the leisure and hospitality industry is working to create “frictionless experiences” for travelers by reinventing customer experiences at all levels of the value chain, from a customized welcoming to a swift and efficient departure experience. To achieve this, leisure and hospitality organizations have been prioritizing the adoption of digital systems and tools for gathering better customer insights and using that information to build personalized and connected customer experiences at scale, increase customer satisfaction at every touch point and eventually drive retention.

What are some examples of digitalization in the leisure and hospitality industry?

The top three digitalization areas are analytics, front-office customer experience, and e-commerce. Some examples of digitalization include cloud-based tools such as restaurant apps for smoother reservations, back-of-house technologies to assist employee hygiene and safety, workforce management tools, concierge apps, and innovative offerings such as iPad-based POS, mobile check-in points, NFC, smart room keys, fingerprint-activated room entry systems, and infrared scanners. In addition, there is increasing customer demand for immersive experiences such as the metaverse, as many travelers are interested in virtual travel experiences, and this trend is likely to reshape travel content and virtual tourism going forward.

How can robotics and AI/ML increase operational efficiency in the leisure and hospitality industry?

Leisure and hospitality business leaders have recognized AI/ML as a game changer mainly due to its ability to predict guest preferences based on data patterns with improving accuracy and identify potential operational risks based on past learnings. Many leisure and hospitality businesses have already embraced AI/ML at a corporate level to increase operational efficiency via automation, using tools such as virtual assistant chatbots, humanoid robot receptionists at guest touchpoints to reduce queue times and headcount requirements, robotic process automation (RPA) for back office operations and maintenance tracking, and post-trip sentiment analysis with NLP. Global labor shortages in the post-pandemic world have accelerated the use of robots and automation in the industry, popularising innovative food service offerings such as autonomous delivery robots. Beyond that, various hotels, casinos, and catering businesses have taken up AI to improve data accuracy in their kitchens to increase operational efficiency. With the help of AI tools that help measure and prevent kitchen waste, businesses can achieve more profitable and sustainable kitchen operations with significant waste reductions at scale.

Author: Gizem Terzi Türkoğlu

Published on: Jan 18, 2023