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Grace Hudson
Grace Hudson,
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Technology in the Leisure & hospitality sector
30 July 2018

Technology underpins everything we do. How we run a business, interact with customers or even customer expectations are all being determined by the latest developments in technology. The biggest areas of technological development are in artificial intelligence, augmented reality and the development of block chain. Each of these areas of technology have enabled businesses to develop new ways of enriching their customer’s experience or streamlining processes to make their business run more efficiently.

What the average customer now expects is a seamless transaction, flexibility and a personalised service. Nowhere is this as prominent as in the Leisure & hospitality sector. 

We have compiled a short list of how companies in the Leisure & hospitality sector are already incorporating this new technology in to their business models: 

Concierge in your pocket

The concierge in your pocket concept allows hotel guests to use an app to have greater control of their experience and surroundings. For example, customers are able to check in/out remotely or to choose their room temperature. The app does all this whilst also learning guest preferences such as allergies or room preferences.This all provides a more personalised experience to each customer. 

Artificial intelligence can also be used to enrich guest experience. For example, the Hilton have an AI robot called ‘Connie’ that provides tourist information to those who ask it questions. It can adapt to individuals, so the more customers that engage with it, the more accurate its responses will become.   

Manage Waste

One of the biggest trends for restaurants in 2018 has been reducing waste and promoting sustainability. One way of achieving this is adopting order management software that can more accurately predict demand, reduce waste and eliminate inaccuracies from the manual processes.  

Restaurants are able to also use apps to allow customers to browse menus online and make their own orders. This means that staff can concentrate on back of house work or the restaurant can operate with less staff altogether. Apps also allow customers to see more details about the source of the ingredients, allergen information or allow guests to split the bill when paying. 

Beacon technology 

Beacon technology is linked to augmented reality and works through Bluetooth. It allows hotels or marketing departments to send information to their customers at certain locations. For example, it would allow guests to unlock their hotel door through their phone when they are at the door, or send maps or specific information when they are in certain locations. By using smart key locks, in conjunction with the remote check in/out concept, guests would have more freedom to arrive or leave the hotel at a time that suits them and reduces the need for round the clock front of house staff.  

Block chain 

Block chain is the distributed ledger technology that has more famously been used to trade Bitcoin and other crypto-assets. However, there are wider applications for this technology. One of the benefits of block chain is that the data is decentralised and traceable, which eliminates the threat of cyber-attacks and manipulation. This is particularly important when dealing with financial transactions or dealing with overseas payments. The provision of a transparent, safe, global ledger for bank payments will streamline the payment processes and reduce associated costs. 

TUI has already adopted block chain through their ‘Bed-Swap’ project, which uses the centralised ledger to assess demand and move inventories between different points of sale, in real-time. 

If you have any questions relating to the use of technology in the Leisure & hospitality sector or have a legal query then please get in touch with our team at leisure&[email protected].

Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.

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