March 08, 2024
By Devyn Rheuby

Did you know that 80 percent of hospitality businesses fail within five years? While that’s an absurdly high failure rate, it’s not unexpected. Running a successful hotel business requires extensive monetary investments and time commitments, and with so many responsibilities to juggle and people to consider, failure can come about as quickly as your opening day did. 

So, how can you keep your hotel doors open and guest rooms booked? 

We live in an era of booming technological developments, and taking advantage of new technologies can significantly improve your hotel business. Artificial intelligence, in particular, is becoming an invaluable resource for hotels, with even large hotel brands like Hilton and Marriott utilizing it. 

In this guide to hotel AI, we explore 12 ways AI can improve your business operations, keep your guests happy, and keep your team running smoothly. Plus, we share some quick tips for successfully implementing AI into your daily functions. 

Unlock the Power of Automation in Hospitality Sales and Marketing

Use hotel AI to enhance guest experience 

Guest interest and a positive guest experience are crucial to running a successful hotel business and building customer loyalty. With the three hotel AI tools below, guests can access immediate answers, specialized services, and simplified accommodations for an enhanced experience that keeps them coming back. 

1. AI chatbots 

60 percent of hotels intend to implement AI into their business practices, with many hotel websites already utilizing simple but impactful AI technology, like chatbots. These AI tools are a great way to ease into hotel AI, providing potential guests with 24-hour answers to routine questions about hotel services, amenities, and room availability. While their conversations typically provide scripted, text-based answers to straightforward questions, some chatbots are more advanced and can understand and respond to voice commands, which is a valuable accessibility feature. 

Implementation tip: Identify the most common guest inquiries and requests your hotel receives. The AI chatbot platform you choose should be easily integrated into your existing website and trained on these queries. 

2. Digital concierge services 

This AI software is similar to chatbots but is designed to provide more personalized services, specifically within the hospitality and travel industries. Hotels that invest in digital concierge services often have them operate across multiple domains to support a variety of guest requests and inquiries, like booking restaurant reservations and car services or suggesting local attractions and scheduling activities. Another significant benefit of a digital concierge is its ability to support multilingual communication, ensuring every guest feels welcome and supported at your hotel. 

Implementation tip: Assess your guests' specific needs and the types of requests they make that could be automated. Then, work with a digital concierge provider that offers customization to fit your guests’ preferences and match your hotel's brand. 

3. AI room service 

For an automated, contactless delivery method that improves guest experience and supports staff, hotels can pair digital concierge services with AI-driven robots. Guests can place food orders or request extra towels and toiletries through a digital concierge, and the robot can deliver meals, drinks, and other requested items to guest rooms.  

These robots are designed with AI algorithms and equipped with motion sensors, allowing them to navigate the hotel safely (including accessing elevators!). Some models also include speakers or small screens to support basic verbal and visual interactions. What’s more, guests’ dietary preferences and restrictions will be documented and accommodated every time. 

Implementation tip: Start with a pilot program in a limited number of rooms to ensure compatibility with your hotel’s layout and digital systems, gather feedback, and make necessary adjustments before a full rollout. 

Use AI to support hotel staff 

Guests are the foundation of your hotel, and the staff you hire are essential in making their stay comfortable and helping your hotel thrive. This responsibility carries a lot of weight, but utilizing hotel AI lightens the load. Providing high-quality training, streamlined processes, and transparent expectations through reliable AI tools is beneficial for supporting your staff. 

4. AI-assisted training programs 

Utilizing AI-powered training programs supports the diverse learning processes of all staff, improving employee performance and hotel operations. Standard training methods often enforce a predetermined time limit and include the same videos, written passages, and questions for every employee. With each person having a unique learning style, this strategy sets many up for failure. AI can fix this.  

Whether people are visual learners who absorb the most information from graphs and diagrams, auditory learners who benefit from videos and spoken scripts, or written learners who need to read and write to retain information, AI-powered training programs are designed to recognize which type of content an individual prefers and tailor the remainder of the training program to best support their learning journey and on-the-job performance. 

Implementation tip: Work closely with the AI platform provider to tailor the training modules to your hotel's specific operations and services. Roll out the training in phases to gather staff feedback and adjust the program or content types for better results. 

5. Predictive maintenance tools 

Deploying AI-driven systems to track and manage routine hotel operations, such as cleaning and maintenance schedules, allows housekeepers and maintenance teams to plan their workdays effectively.  

  • Housekeeper benefits. With the ability to track guest check-in and check-out times, housekeepers can prioritize the most immediate tasks, from room cleaning and preparation to laundry services and lobby cleanups.  
  • Maintenance team benefits. AI systems display upcoming maintenance needs, allowing the team to optimize their workload and proactively address equipment checks and repairs. In an unexpected maintenance emergency, AI systems are designed to send alerts, ensuring unexpected issues are addressed immediately to reduce the likelihood of severe damage and unnecessary expenses. 

Implementation tip: Choose a predictive maintenance system that can integrate with your current operations software. Initially, use the system in parallel with your current processes to validate its predictions and recommendations before fully relying on it. 

6. Performance analysis and feedback 

Using AI tools to monitor and evaluate staff offers valuable insights into employee performance through detailed analysis of service quality metrics, customer feedback, and operational efficiency. This data-driven approach identifies specific areas where staff need further training or improvement and allows management to recognize and celebrate exceptional performance.  

Review the AI-generated insights in one-on-one settings or team meetings, depending on which approach is most beneficial for your hotel staff. With targeted feedback, you encourage continuous improvement and motivation among employees, leading to a more skilled and efficient workforce and enhancing the overall service quality offered to guests. 

Implementation tip: Set key performance indicators (KPIs) to guide AI tracking processes and give your staff a clear understanding of the factors contributing to their performance reports. 

Use AI to improve hotel management 

Just as AI supports hotel staff, implementing AI systems can support hotel management teams. With AI, your hotel can benefit from streamlined processes, revenue growth, and improved guest engagement and interactions. 

7. Revenue management systems 

Revenue management systems are AI-powered tools that analyze hotel data to maximize revenue potential and optimize pricing strategies. Seasonal booking patterns and real-time data on community events, local conferences, market demand, and competitor pricing all contribute to setting the best rate to fill rooms at your hotel while maximizing the revenue per available room (RevPAR). 

Revenue management systems also feature predictive AI models, which are reliably effective for forecasting future demand and revenue potential. With the past and present data generated, hotels can identify the ideal times to upsell or feature promotional offers, like special services and exclusive amenities, to attract new guests, incentivize past guests, and remain competitive. 

Implementation tip: Before setting up an AI-driven revenue management system, review your hotel’s current pricing models and reservation trends to set a clear benchmark for improvement. Then, regularly review system performance to gauge progress and implement new recommendations. 

8. Inventory management systems 

Inventory management systems use AI to track and update the availability of supplies, amenities, food, and other inventory by analyzing usage patterns, historical data, and seasonal data. This process ensures that every hotel department is adequately supplied to meet guest needs while also: 

  • Eliminating overstocking. 
  • Reducing waste potential. 
  • Cutting expenses on unnecessary items.  

The AI alerts when a restock is needed, can place bulk orders, and negotiate with suppliers for better rates. 

Implementation tip: To ensure cohesiveness, invest in an inventory management system that integrates with your current supply chain management process. Remember to catalog all inventory items in the system and set a minimum stock level. 

9. Customer relationship management tools 

AI-powered customer relationship management (CRM) tools support positive guest interactions and retention rates through improved, data-based personalization. Machine learning and data analytics compile and interpret customer data, ranging from booking habits and preferred room settings to feedback and amenity usage. This information allows your hotel to: 

  • Tailor email marketing campaigns to individual guests. 
  • Recommend personalized experiences. 
  • Offer custom promotions. 
  • Anticipate guest needs before they arrive.  

With the 2023 State of Personalization Report indicating that 92 percent of companies utilize AI to support personalization efforts and 56 percent of consumers consider personalization an incentive for repeat buying, investing in AI-powered CRM tools is necessary for your hotel to stay competitive and encourage repeat stays. 

Implementation tip: Train your marketing and guest services teams to use AI-provided data to enhance in-person guest communications and interactions. Update the CRM regularly with new data to keep guest profiles accurate and relevant. 

10. AI social media management 

AI can be used for reliable social media automation, which supports your marketing team’s workload, improves your hotel’s online presence, and fosters positive customer interactions to build brand loyalty. AI-driven social media tools can: 

  • Analyze trends and popular topics. 
  • Understand consumer perception. 
  • Track and respond to brand mentions and comments. 

Posts can also be scheduled in advance and shared at ideal times to increase visibility and interaction; while Facebook posts perform best on Monday mornings, the best time to post on X (formerly Twitter) is Friday mornings. 

Implementation tip: Start with a pilot phase, focusing on one or two social media platforms to fine-tune your approach before expanding to others. Regular reviews of the AI-generated insights allow you to adjust and tailor your content strategy to each platform's user base. 

Use hotel AI to streamline event planning 

AI benefits staff and management and can also assist hotel event planners. Hotels are popular event spaces, and your event planning team might plan events ranging from large weddings and cultural celebrations to international conferences and office parties. Every event has specific requirements and unique possibilities, and using hotel AI can make this process more manageable. 

11. Digital assistants 

Planning hotel events is stressful, but digital assistants can undertake certain tasks, making the planning process more streamlined for planners and convenient for guests. Digital assistants can: 

  • Schedule vendors. 
  • Reserve hotel event spaces. 
  • Coordinate networking opportunities for attendees. 
  • Send registration emails and event reminders. 
  • Send virtual surveys to meet dietary restrictions and accommodation needs. 

Once the event is over, the AI assistant analyzes guest feedback, preferences, and interests to gain insights for improving and tailoring future events for attendees. This saves planners the time of manually reviewing and documenting that information while prioritizing guest satisfaction and retention. 

Implementation tip: Identify repetitive and time-consuming tasks in your event planning process that can be automated. If your hotel has an entire event planning team, train them to interact with and manage the digital assistant to maximize its benefits. 

12. Virtual layout planning 

Virtual layout planning is an indispensable resource for designing and visualizing event spaces before the actual setup, which is especially helpful if other events or time constraints limit your ability to plan the layout in person. With this AI technology, event planners can test different layout scenarios from a 3D perspective and predict their level of functionality for event staff and attendees.  

Factors like furniture arrangements and decor placement are essential for operational efficiency, accessibility, and tailoring the space for specific event needs, whether a career workshop or a gala dinner. Using AI for virtual layout planning streamlines the overall setup process, reduces the risk of last-minute hiccups with the floor plan, and maximizes the usability of the space. 

Implementation tip: Gather requirements for events you host, including safety guidelines, attendee capacity, and technology needs. Use the tool in client meetings to facilitate productive discussions, explain design reasonings, and finalize event plans. 

Implement your hotel AI plans today 

And just like that, hotel AI can simplify your business processes, improve employee experiences, and keep the guests booking! For more insight on how your hotel can stay competitive, check out our comprehensive guide to hotel ROI. 


Devyn Rheuby headshot

Devyn Rheuby

Dev is a San Francisco-based content marketer specializing in article and eBook writing for tech and B2B companies. When she’s not working, she tries new coffee shops, reads fiction and fantasy series, and plays The Sims 4.

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