Data-driven artificial intelligence (AI) has become a big deal for the hospitality sector within the United Arab Emirates, particularly in regard to the collection, analysis and prediction of consumer decisions and preferences, according to experts.

Radisson Hotel Group Middle East & Africa’s senior vice president, Tim Cordon, says that AI is starting to dominate the way that the hospitality sector ensures that its business models can operate and progress in the face of tough competition.

Data-driven AI software allows businesses to use the history and preferences of customers to predict their future purchase decisions with the use of advanced algorithms, Cordon says.

Because of this, hotels in the UAE are beginning to rely on this data to drive revenues by enhancing the overall experiences of their guests.

Everything is logged, from website browsing, to room and service selection, to selling the correct services and optimising the entire experience.

Smartphones have recently begun to control the likes of air conditioning, security alarms and car parking as well as automated cleaning and services to order food.

The same concept is increasingly being used and implemented all over the hotel industry, Cordon claims.

The senior vice president of Swiss-Belhotel International for the Middle East, Africa and India, Laurent A. Voivenel, says that AI is evolving to become more important in the hotel industry because it can perform normal human operations 24/7.

The employment of AI and big data is successfully driving intelligent and digital transformation in a way that benefits all, Voivenel claims.

The process has become easier and faster as well as more efficient, effective, inexpensive, streamlined and user-friendly because of the application of AI tools.

Although the use of AI within the UAE hotel industry remains in its infancy, a number of applications for it have already been applied, with it being very effective for online chat and direct messaging services.

Swiss-Belhotel International is also using it to respond to simple requests or questions.

AI chatbots are already in use 24/7 on social media sites and robots are also being developed with AI, offering tremendous potential for situations involving customers.

Cordon mirrors the same sentiments in regard to the hotel industry and believes that hoteliers will slowly commission AI robots to deal with customers on the hotel or ground level.

With the increasing sophistication of AI and its integration with hardware, more and more hotels in the UAE and all over the world will begin transitioning their business models to being increasingly driven by technology, Cordon feels.

Cities such as Dubai and Beijing are ahead of the pack in regard to smart technology usage and business models focusing on data-driven AI through to amenities in hotel rooms that can be controlled by mobile phones.

AI can help to improve customer experiences in a number of ways, such as by personalising guest services and room settings based on the known preferences of guests.

Anyone intending to travel to the UAE should take out travel insurance to avoid the financial consequences of unexpected travel events such as falling ill overseas.


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