AI isn’t coming for hotelier jobs. It’s making them easier

The term ‘artificial intelligence’ gets talked about a lot, especially as new platforms like ChatGPT make their way into our everyday lives. But there still doesn’t seem to be a wide understanding of what AI actually is, or how it can be used in sectors like hospitality to optimize guest experience.

The bottom line? We need to positively reframe the way we think and talk about AI, and embrace the possibilities it opens up for the hotel industry.

What is artificial intelligence (and what is it not)?

The most common questions I get asked about AI are things like “Will it take over people’s jobs?”, “Will it replace the need for people entirely?”, and “Will it become sentient?” There’s a lot of hype and even fear around AI, which probably comes from movies like iRobot and 2001: A Space Odyssey. But don’t worry, HAL isn’t going to take over hotels just yet.

Artificial intelligence is quite simply the ability for machines to learn from data and make predictions. You probably use it every day without even realizing it, Every time you plot a journey on Google Maps, ask Siri a question, flip between Netflix’s recommendations or say “Alexa” – you are using AI. Behind the scenes these are really just algorithms. Not so scary when you put it like that.

The reason hoteliers (and everyone else) are now having to contend with their AI roadmaps is that the technology has become more sophisticated. We have more data to train existing models and we have more computing power with which to power those models. This means that AI solutions of yesterday which were simply nice to haves are now powerful tools which can reduce operation costs, improve employee productivity, and streamline guest experiences.

To be clear, AI can currently only learn from the data it’s given. So, in the near term, AI will continue to live in the categories above. Not taking over the world, but helping us to make better and quicker decisions as we navigate our way through it.

How can AI help the hotel sector?

The highest priority for staff working in the hotel industry is to provide guests with the best possible customer experience. Whilst that may sound very simple, there are a lot of other tasks that can take up time and get in the way of this goal. That’s where AI comes into its own.

The best tasks to recruit AI to help with are ones that are tedious, repetitive, and prone to error. These are the areas where AI’s faster and more accurate decision-making can make the industry run more efficiently, freeing up staff to focus on delivering the kind of service that leaves customers always coming back for more.

Here I’m going to talk about three areas in which hoteliers can really embrace AI: operations, HR, and revenue management.


In the running of a hotel, where is there the most friction that can negatively impact both staff and customers? The front desk. For staff, taking calls from guests and checking them in can be tedious, repetitive, and time-consuming, which can lead to longer wait times or errors that frustrate guests.

EVA (Evolution Virtual Assistant) is Fourteen IP’s answer to this problem. It’s an AI-powered virtual assistant that can take guest calls, answer their most common questions, and perform straightforward tasks like arranging wake-up calls.

In 2023, EVA took over 10 million guest calls, successfully addressed 90% of queries, and reduced the number of calls taken by staff by over 75%. EVA is already being used in international chains like Marriott Hotels, freeing up staff to give guests a more personalized experience.

Human resources

In a fast-paced, customer service-oriented environment like the hotel sector, you need to be able to onboard and train staff quickly and to a high standard.

But traditional e-learning modules can be tedious for staff, providing little motivation to engage with the training. Traditional methods are also static, offering no real personalization or analysis of how staff are performing in their training.

Using AI-powered technology like Attensi CREATOR, companies can create game-based learning programmes that actually engage and motivate learners. They can also use AI to analyze huge amounts of data to see the impact of the training, and personalize employee learning pathways to coach them in areas where they need more support.

Organizations like food chain itsu are using Attensi CREATOR to build engaging and impactful learning and development journeys that adapt to staff’s needs.

Revenue management

Using AI to optimise revenue management is an easy win for hoteliers, as there’s a clear economic model to warrant it.  

Using predictive modeling, AI can analyze historical data and demand to predict and adapt to future cycles. This sort of data can be used to influence pricing and inventory management throughout the year to give customers the best experience and maximize revenue. 

Going a step further, hotels can use AI in their marketing and offers to increase the likelihood of purchase. Think Google Ads but straight into your customers’ inboxes. For example, AccorHotels is using the Adobe Marketing Cloud to analyze its customers’ past behavior and deliver personalized offers and recommendations. These are sent at just the right moment to increase the likelihood of engagement and purchase.  

It’s an exciting time for the hotel industry, as AI technology and machine learning improve every day, offering new and innovative ways to save time and money (and of course improve customer service).

As we move forward, I’m looking forward to seeing more organizations embracing AI to deliver a smoother and more personalized experience for both staff and guests. 

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