AI in Hotels: A Complete Guide for the Hospitality Industry

AI in Hotels & Hospitality AI: An image of a pair of hands holding a smart phone with blue illustrations and connection dots surrounding the phone suggesting the use of AI.

New advances in technology come around relatively frequently, but rarely do they disrupt entire industries like artificial intelligence has. With the rise in popularity of tools like ChatGPT, artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed the way the world works seemingly overnight. But what do these innovations mean for the hospitality industry? What does AI in hotels look like today, and what will it look like tomorrow?

AI is already transforming the hospitality industry in ways that were once unimaginable. From check-in to check-out, hotel guests and hospitality teams alike are increasingly interacting with AI-powered tools and services. Hotel AI applications are not only making the guest experience more seamless and enjoyable, but are also enabling hospitality teams to optimize operations, save time, and reduce costs.

While hospitality AI applications have undoubtedly transformed the industry already, its significance will only continue to grow; AI’s current market value of nearly $100 billion is expected to surge to nearly $2 trillion by 2030, according to data from Statista. As the implementation of AI in hotels becomes more commonplace worldwide, it’s crucial for hospitality teams stay in-the-know about this growing technology.

That said, it can feel overwhelming trying to understand what exactly hotel artificial intelligence is and how your team can benefit from it. Fortunately, in this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about AI for hotels, from what it is to the various types of AI available. We’ll also explore popular hotel artificial intelligence platforms to keep on your radar, how AI is expected to evolve, and how your property or portfolio can use hotel AI to transform your business.

Whether you’re an asset owner, property operator, hospitality professional, or simply interested in learning more about AI in hospitality, this guide will help you learn everything you need to know about AI in hotels.

First things first, what is AI?

There are many various definitions of AI. John McCarthy, a computer scientist at Stanford University known as the “father of AI” defines it as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. It is related to the similar task of using computers to understand human intelligence, but AI does not have to confine itself to methods that are biologically observable.” 

Meanwhile, Britannica provides the following AI definition: “The ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.” 

Basically, you can think of AI as computer programs or machines that perform intelligent tasks that you’d typically think a human would need to do, from analyzing patterns to making decisions.

How is AI expected to grow?

While the idea of artificial intelligence has been around for decades, corporate integration of AI has experienced particularly explosive growth, adoption, and investment in recent years, with several companies across business sectors quickly moving to integrate AI into their operations. 

For instance, a 2022 survey by McKinsey found that global adoption of AI is 2.5 times higher than it was in 2017, and the level of investment in AI has increased as well. Additionally, 62% of business leaders have already invested in automation tools and AI for their employees, according to HubSpot’s State of Artificial Intelligence survey.

That growth is expected to continuously climb in the future. A study from PwC shows that AI could contribute up to an additional $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Meanwhile, the global AI market is forecasted to grow 35% by 2028, according to a report from Exactitude Consultancy, a market research and consulting services firm.

Because this growth of artificial intelligence will likely affect the growth of AI in hospitality specifically, it can benefit your property or portfolio to learn more about how to leverage AI for hotels.

What is AI for hospitality?

Hospitality AI is the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning specifically within the hospitality industry. Property groups and hospitality brands are increasingly integrating hotel AI platforms into their operations, from guest-facing services to internal team processes.

While AI in hotels might seem like a brand-new phenomenon, you’re probably familiar with more applications than you might realize. For instance, voice-activated tools like Siri and Alexa use the principles of AI technology to function, according to a guide from McKinsey. Other tools, like customer service chatbots on websites, were also created using AI. Additionally, you might have heard of service robots that use AI in hotels to function, from concierge recommendations to in-room deliveries. 

Beyond the obvious use cases of AI for hotels, however, there are many other functions of hospitality artificial intelligence, from tracking and analyzing guest reviews to predicting future room demands. 

What are the different types of AI in hotels?

There are many different types of AI in hotels, and while each may employ the same foundational technology and intelligence to function, each type of hotel artificial intelligence platform has its own unique purpose and capabilities. These hotel AI platforms are designed to not only improve the guest experience at your property, but to also save your team valuable time and resources.

Here are some of the most popular types and use cases of AI in hospitality:

Hospitality AI for Enhanced Guest Services

A top-of-mind goal for anyone in the hospitality industry is to constantly improve the guest experience. AI hotel software enables your property or portfolio to make that possible without much additional effort from your team. 

Here are a few different use cases for AI in hotels that can improve the guest experience:

Concierge recommendations. While technology can’t replace face-to-face interactions, some properties use hotel AI platforms to assist with concierge experiences. Guests can text with AI bots for personalized recommendations and reservations. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, for example, has a robot named Rose (whose title is “Resident Mischief-Maker & Digital Concierge”) that guests can text for anything from dinner recommendations to fresh towels. The key to this AI hotel software is ensuring the technology can show empathy and actually interact with guests.

  • Faster check-ins and check-outs. AI in hotels can also quicken the check-in and check-out process for guests, leading to a smoother first impression and a more pleasant final experience at your property. From contactless check-in experiences to tools that help improve guest interactions, AI in hospitality can help optimize the process. For example, Cendyn’s software helps hotels tailor guest experiences to improve brand loyalty, allowing front desk staff to quickly know whether or not guests have stayed there before, whether they’re part of your loyalty program or not, and more, reports Inc.
  • Room deliveries. AI in hotels can also automate in-room deliveries. For instance, service AI-powered bots can deliver clean towels, room service, and more to save your staff the trip while providing a novel experience for guests. Some Hilton and Marriott hotels began using this technology to keep guests safer from COVID-19 as well.
  • Smart technology. AI hotel software can help guests optimize their experience in their hotel. Artificial intelligence examples include in-room voice assistants, technology that can fill guests in on the weather or today’s news, tools that monitor requests like airport shuttles and monitor room temperatures, and more, as pointed out by Infosys.
  • More staff availability. One of the biggest benefits of AI in hotels is that team members are able to spend less time on burdensome manual tasks and more time interacting with guests. When AI for hotels can automate to-dos like housekeeping requests or delivering clean towels, property teams can spend more time interacting with guests.

Ultimately, hotel artificial intelligence can help your team provide even better service to guests, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Beyond the hospitality industry, AI is already enabling deeper, more positive customer interactions. According to research from HubSpot, 63% of business professionals say that AI is helping their employees better understand their customers.

Hospitality AI for Better Bookings

Some hospitality AI tools are designed to help both guests and customer service teams during the booking process. That includes the use of AI-powered chatbots, which several industries (beyond just hospitality) use to automate customer support questions. These chatbots are often displayed on property websites and provide guests with the ability to ask questions, receive help booking, or get helpful travel recommendations. Over time, the chatbots use the information to learn more and perform even better. 

This use of AI for hotels allows property staff to save time, and helps customers receive potentially faster responses to time-sensitive requests while they’re booking. This hospitality artificial intelligence may be especially helpful to small-but-mighty hospitality teams who don’t have the bandwidth for round-the-clock customer service. 

And while chatbots shouldn’t replace your customer support team, they can help team members save time, allowing them to focus on more complex issues, as HubSpot points out. In fact, the majority (91%) of customer service representatives say chatbots effectively respond to customer requests, per HubSpot data.

Hospitality AI for Revenue Management & Optimization

AI in hotels not only elevates the guest experience at your property, but it can also improve your team’s operational efficiency and overall business performance. For instance, some hotel artificial intelligence can use historical data to analyze patterns, then use that information to predict future revenue, according to Hotel Tech Report. Beyond revenue forecasting, property groups and brands can use AI for hospitality to optimize prices based on demand, seasonality, and more. By using predictive analytics, hotel software AI can help your property set the right prices and more accurately predict future earnings.

Hospitality AI for Invoicing & Payments

AI in hospitality can also be used to streamline your property’s invoicing and payment process. According to a report by Infosys, AI for hospitality can help automate financial reconciliation and invoice categorization, two tasks that typically need to be done manually by the accounting team.

But beyond automating rote financial tasks, hotel software AI could also be used to automate invoice follow-ups and keep team members informed as to which payments are at risk. What’s more, hotel machine learning could be used to analyze historical data and identify patterns across a portfolio of properties, allowing teams to know how each hotel or resort is performing without requiring hours of manual reporting.

Hospitality AI for Sales

Beyond transforming back-of-house financial duties and front-of-house guest interactions, AI for hospitality can also be used to optimize the sales process. According to insights from EHL, a leading hospitality university, AI in hospitality can help sales teams track demand and guest behaviors by examining previous booking data and seasonal demands. AI in hotels can also suggest when to sell guests upgrades based on what they’ve purchased before, notes EHL. These capabilities enable team members to predict future sales and set appropriate benchmarks—and not to mention, boost revenue.

What’s more, task automation powered by hospitality artificial intelligence helps sales teams stay on track and save time. With less time spent on manual tasks like reporting or customer follow-ups, sales teams can spend more time meeting with quality prospects and closing deals. 

Hospitality AI for Marketing

A whopping 80% of industry experts use some form of AI technology in their online marketing activities, according to research from Statista. So how can your hospitality team take advantage of innovative artificial intelligence to create smarter, more efficient, and more effective marketing campaigns?

Here are a few different ways to use AI for hotels in your marketing efforts:

  • Tools like Jasper and Writesonic can ideate or draft marketing campaign copy.
  • ChatGPT and similar applications can give you inspiration for social media captions, suggest new customer email topics, or help make your latest blog post more engaging. 
  • Hotel software AI can automate time-consuming tasks like campaign data analytics and customer segmentation, per Hotel Tech Report.
  • AI-powered predictive marketing and trend insights can inform your campaigns.
  • AI tools can also help you come up with buzzy new keywords that speak to your target audience when you have writer’s block.

It’s important to note that these are only a handful of AI examples within the hotel marketing sphere—there are a growing number of possibilities as to how AI can enhance your strategy.

Hospitality AI for Operation Automation

AI in hospitality helps keep your property running at its best. For example, some hospitality artificial intelligence platforms can facilitate maintenance and housekeeping requests and schedules. Hospitality software AI can even help with tasks like inventory and utility tracking, enabling your property to reduce costs and stay efficient, points out HotelTechReport.

Hospitality AI for Customer Surveys & Feedback

Machine learning for hospitality can help brands and property groups stay on top of guest feedback. For instance, machine learning for hotels can monitor and analyze guest reviews and social media sentiments to keep you in tune about what’s being said about your property, notes EHL. Some hospitality software AI can even help your team members respond to reviews quickly with suggested language, resulting in a more thoughtful online review collection and streamlined reputation management.

As you can see above, there are several use cases of AI in hospitality. While some hotel software AI platforms can be used for multiple purposes—such as both operation automation and revenue management, or both sales and marketing—other tools might be best suited for use in a particular field. For instance, ChatGPT for hotels might be best suited for marketing campaigns, rather than for optimizing your property’s invoice and payment systems.

And of course, the types of AI in hotels today will likely be quite different from the hospitality AI platforms used a year or a decade from now. As hotel artificial intelligence continues to evolve, hospitality teams will find new, innovative ways to implement it across properties and portfolios.

What are some hospitality AI platforms to know?

There are various platforms designed to help your property implement hotel artificial intelligence. Here are some of the various artificial intelligence examples to explore:

    There are several AI examples that could be worth exploring for your property or portfolio, including the many other platforms that exist outside of our list above. Before implementing any new hospitality software AI, however, it’s important to make sure that the tool will work well for your team and your processes.

    Common traits of the best hospitality AI platforms

    There are a growing number of hotel artificial intelligence tools available to hoteliers, operating partners, asset owners, and anyone else in the hospitality industry. No matter what type of artificial intelligence examples you’re most interested in learning about, it helps to consider common characteristics of AI platforms as you’re exploring your options.

    Here are some common benefits to look for when you’re researching artificial intelligence for hospitality:

    • Automates or simplifies tasks: Hotel machine learning and AI tools should make your life easier. An AI platform should be able to help automate or simplify routine tasks, especially those that include lots of time-consuming, manual work.
    • Identifies and analyzes data: From assessing how well your resort’s latest marketing campaign performed to analyzing guest preferences, artificial intelligence for hospitality can help your property better understand complex data patterns, resulting in better-informed decisions.
    • Forecasts useful information: AI can’t predict the future (yet), but it can certainly clue you in. Machine learning for hospitality and other AI tools can use historical data in order to predict future trends, from room demand to seasonal shifts in business, helping your team forecast and optimize prices as necessary.
    • Inspires new ideas: One reason that artificial intelligence is so significant is because it can broaden your horizons more than you ever thought possible. Whether you have writer’s block and need inspiration for what to say in your holiday newsletter or want to get a new perspective on pricing data patterns, AI can help. 

    Of course, there are additional benefits of artificial intelligence beyond the traits listed above. But ultimately, any hotel machine learning or AI platform you consider should make your team’s life easier and better. It’s important to ensure that any tool you use will help improve your property’s guest experience, improve your portfolio’s bottom line, and make your team members feel more satisfied and productive.

    How can your property or portfolio use hospitality AI?

    There are countless ways your hospitality brand or property group can utilize AI in hospitality. You can add AI into your revenue management process to price rooms at the best possible rate depending on demand. You can integrate AI into your property’s marketing strategy to create more full-circle campaigns. You can weave AI into the guest booking experience to increase room acquisitions and improve customer stays. You can use AI to analyze complex data across your properties in a flash. 

    Or, you can just use AI from time to time whenever you’re curious or see a need. Every hospitality team is different, each with their own unique goals, so if and how you want to use AI will depend on your team and your property’s individual needs.

    Long story short: There are many ways you can implement AI at your property or portfolio. Consider which types of hospitality AI you think might benefit your brand the most, and then explore or research which respective platforms can satisfy those goals as needed.

    How to learn more about AI in hotels

    One of the best ways to get familiar with AI is by using it. Consider poking around the platforms that intrigue you, or take advantage of a free trial to see how an AI tool would fold into your business operations.

    Beyond first-hand experience, there are ample resources available online to help you learn more about AI in hotels. Legacy businesses like IBM and McKinsey or educational institutions like Harvard Business Review all have thorough guides to help you learn more about AI. Business-to-business brands like HubSpot frequently share actionable AI tips, and publications like Inc. or Digiday can keep you in the loop on the latest AI news. 

    Meanwhile, hospitality AI-specific information is available from industry resources like EHL, HotelTechReport, and ROH, among others.

    About ROH

    As a rapidly evolving proptech company, ROH drives conversions, increases revenue, and enables real collaboration for the largest hospitality groups, asset owners, and their brands. ROH’s smart workflows and exclusive data allows hospitality teams to harness the power of property-level data and unlock access to portfolio-level visibility with features like at-risk invoice alerts, real-time performance data, client engagement tools, and much more. Our data and intelligent technology lets your hospitality team stay ahead, save time, and create transformative growth.

    To learn more about how ROH can drive conversions, revenue, and collaboration for your property or portfolio, schedule a free demo.