It’s easy to think of Artificial Intelligence having four key components; Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Speech, and Image Processing. Each of these key components may have one or several technology subsets such as Facial recognition which would belong to ‘Image Processing’ domain. We won’t be going down the rabbit hole of all of these technologies today - rather, I’d just like to talk about one component which has been proving valuable to hoteliers that we call ‘Smart Recommendations’.

Hospitality tech company Portier has done a great deal of research into hotel related AI and machine learning, and have developed their own technology based on these learnings where ‘big data’ from guests is aggregated, processed and analyzed to provide ‘Smart Recommendations’ for hotel clients.

"Whilst AI is a popular buzzword, it's actually the large sets of data that power a functioning AI engine. For us, that means being able to understand the behavior of guests before applying any AI logic. Today, we have data insights into travelers that are unparalleled - for instance, we can tell you as to when it's best to communicate dining promotions to your Chinese guests vs. your American guests - imagine this coupled with the benefit of AI automation - that's what Portier is about. The future of A.I. for travelers will be helping hotels to understand their guests before the guests can even understand themselves." said Deniz Tekerek co-founder of Portier.

The big data pools that recommendations are being calculated on are getting larger and larger, incorporating data points such as guest history, bookings, trends, social sites, trip-advisor, weather and guest interactions with linked apps. The AI engine weights all of these points to come up with seemingly simple insights that have in fact been generated by a staggering amount of computing power.

Here are some examples of insights that Portier’s learning engines have discovered that have proven to be gold for Hoteliers:

  • Chinese guests are two times more likely to reach out to the hotel via concierge connect after reading a promotional message from a Portier device, compared to after having been exposed to other in-house content / stimuli (e.g. menu, hotel information cards etc.);
  • 30% of dining related activity occurs between 8pm till midnight for city hotels;
  • 54% of dining related activity happens between 3pm to 7pm in resort hotels;
  • 42.8% of spa related content and activity is consumed between 3pm till 7pm in city hotels;
  • 40.7% of spa related content is consumed from 1pm till 5pm in resort hotels;
  • On the Thai islands of Phuket and Samui, guests spend an average of 60-70 minutes exploring the Portier platform each day;
  • Chinese travelers are most receptive to promotions between 2pm and 7pm each day;
  • Generally, promotions are most successful on Fridays, with 36% of offers being engaged with on that day;

With these kinds of personalized / group insights, hoteliers are getting an edge on their competition by interpreting these to optimize their own properties’ offerings. Rather than using a hit and miss approach, you can now make recommendations or create promotions that you know people will actually be interested in.

As a hotelier, how can you start taking advantage of machine learning? While there are many services out there that have started to utilize AI and machine learning, one place you can start straight away and start using Portier’s ‘Smart Suggestion’ functionality for your property - Go and have a chat with them.