Jonathan Wilson – VP of Product Innovation and Brand Services – Hilton Worldwide
The “ burning question” many people have for the hospitality industry is: “What’s next?” Over the last few years, we’ve seen a massive disruption that has put the traveller in control of their trip – from start to finish, and dreaming to reliving. Digital check-in, digital room keys, VR technology, partnerships with tech startups and innovation labs – we’ve seen it all. With all of this inventive technology, we – as hospitality companies – need to make sure we are keeping hospitality at the core of what we do. After all, we are in the business of people serving people. With the growth of technology and innovation in the space, we need to redefine what it means to be hospitable.
WITH THE RIGHT BALANCE OF MEANINGFUL TECHNOLOGY, WE ARE HOPING TO BLEND TECHNOLOGY AND HOSPITALITY IN A CREATIVE AND SEAMLESS WAY
We recently launched Connie, the first Watson-enabled robot concierge in the hospitality industry, at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in Virginia. Connie works with our team members to answer guest questions about local tourist attractions, dining recommendations and hotel features and amenities. Connie’s cognitive learning abilities are enabling us to explore new ways smart technology can enhance our guests’ travels.
This is just the beginning of what’s possible. In the future, cognitive reasoning in the hospitality space could make meetings more impactful by fielding on-the-spot research and data requests. It could also make trips more personalized. For example, Team Members could work with Connie to shape a guest’s perfect itinerary, based on when certain museums or attractions are open, when traffic is anticipated to be light and which specialty shops have daily deals.
Our goal is simple: make travel easier and more enjoyable for our guests. Whether travelling for business or leisure – our guests crave information about our properties and surrounding attractions. Through our partnerships with some of the world’s most inventive companies, we’re exploring how new technologies can enhance the guest experience at our properties in a meaningful way. These partnerships are centred on a goal of personalisation – in making the guest’s experience uniquely their own. With the right balance of meaningful technology, we are hoping to blend technology and hospitality in a creative and seamless way.