After recently joining the “Partner of Croatian Hotels“ programme, organized by the Association of Employers in Croatian Hospitality (AECH / UPUHH), we made an appearance at the 25th Hotelier Congress to present our hospitality solutions as well as discuss the future of AI in the hospitality industry.
The Hotelier Congress, organized by UPUHH is one of the longest-standing events for hospitality professionals, and one in which we were proud to participate. Important insights and perspectives were shared by leading hotel industry experts; the event featured esteemed representatives from renowned establishments such as Valamar Riviera, Aminess, Maistra, Zagreb City Hotels, Sunce Hoteli, Jadran, HOTREC and Hilton.
Moreover, attendees had the opportunity to hear from IT industry professionals who specialize in the field of hospitality. A notable highlight was the engaging panel discussion titled "Unlocking the Potential of Hospitality: AI and the Digitally Guided Future of Tourism," which featured Boris Škorić, Director of our Business Intelligence division. His insights added significant depth to the discourse on the intersection of artificial intelligence with future trajectory of tourism within the hospitality sector.
Introducing Alfatec Group to the gathered representatives of the hotel industry, he emphasized that the company's core business is focused on data, which implies business intelligence as well as data warehouse, data integration, and data consolidation, but also the application of artificial Intelligence as a boost to the data, in the order to achieve business goals like increasing business revenue, optimizing business processes, and so on.
"We use artificial intelligence for various purposes - for guest review analytics, their categorization and sub-categorization, sentiment analysis, predictive analytics in price comparison, in chatbots, etc. A good example of AI business benefits could be the functionality of a chatbot that ensures availability of hotel sales 24/7, providing potential guests with all the necessary information to make reservation decisions. This process could also involve employing robotic process automation (RPA) not limited to a single step but encompassing a sequence of actions such as generating quotes, making reservations in PMS systems, sending confirmations, and more. This ultimately leads to the automation of the entire process, and could significantly improve reservation rate, revenues, and finally hotel reputation" he explained.
Asked about the learning process of the system itself, he explained that it depends on the specific goals of applying artificial intelligence: in other words, the training of the system is based on the informative scope that hotels want to cover. The machine learning process itself is mostly the supplier's domain; however, the end user can additionally train the system using an annotation tool that is delivered along with the solution, and corrects potential model errors through examples of accurate responses to specific issues. Building on the presentation of Mr. Robert Gobo (from Valamar Riviera) in the previous panel, the conclusion of which was that the goal should be to reduce the amount of data sources used in the daily operational activities of hotels, Boris mentioned that in the development of Alfatec Group's solutions, we follow the same logic. We integrate multiple systems data to centralize data for reporting and analytics but also integrate multiple functionalities into our solutions, so that the need to maintain a large number of systems is reduced. A good example is Elarion Hospitality, which integrates online reputation management, rate shopping, and guest satisfaction surveys within one solution.
He anticipates the wider-ranging use of artificial intelligence in analytical IT solutions across the board, alleviating business processes, reducing repetitive tasks and freeing up time for crucial strategic processes. The application of AI should, in his opinion, be seen as an opportunity for improvement as well as a benefit through the elevation of information value and business efficiency achieved by using the solutions within which the artificial intelligence is integrated.
During a panel discussion, the CEO and founder of Infosit, Goran Mrvoš, confirmed the valuable insights shared by the presenters about the use of artificial intelligence in the hotel industry. Mrvoš encouraged hoteliers to embrace AI and explore its potential to complement daily operations. By asking the right questions, AI can help them focus on critical business processes, to the ultimate benefit of their operations.
Alfatec Group recognized the need for quality operational solutions in the hospitality sector almost a decade ago. With over 30 years of experience in data management, we have developed a range of products, tools, and solutions within our Elarion Big Data platform, which are tailored specifically to meet the needs of the hotel industry. These include Alfatec Elarion Hospitality, Alfatec Elarion Data Warehouse a,nd Elarion Controlling Engine. These solutions have been embraced by some of Croatia's top hotels and hotel chains, enabling them to enhance daily operations and make strategic decisions, including sales and marketing strategies.
To further strengthen our presence in the hospitality industry, Alfatec Group has become a member of the Association of Employers in Croatian Hospitality. This association comprises nearly 400 hotels (and similar facilities) managed by 200 companies from all over Croatia. For us, this was a natural progression as we continue to focus on delivering top-quality operational solutions to the hospitality sector.