TRAVTALK will once again partner with Future Hospitality Summit, to be held in Abu Dhabi from 25-27 September 2023. Cenk Sidar, Founder & CEO, Enquire.AI, talks about ‘The Power of AI: How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Business Decision Making,’ which will enhance human efficiency, empowering destinations, businesses, workers and travellers to connect in unimaginable ways.
Will ChatGPT be a bane or boon in the hospitality industry?
It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which artificial intelligence (AI) is not a massive boon for the hospitality industry. It is a technology that enhances human efficiency, empowering destinations, businesses, workers and travellers to connect in ways that we have never imagined. At its core, the hospitality industry is far more than ‘heads in beds’. It’s about placemaking, storytelling, and crafting unforgettable experiences that leave lasting impressions. AI offers the opportunity to enhance every stage of that journey, empowering each individual to enjoy a personal slice of paradise.
Is GCC ready to welcome AI and digitalisation?
Like most regions of the world, GCC as a destination is still somewhat fragmented in its digital infrastructure (fibre, compute power, etc.) to accommodate a seamless experience throughout the region. This will improve with time. Two areas that will help GCC fully leverage AI technology are:
- Continued investment in the workforce pipeline for both the hospitality and tech sectors. These tend to be opposite ends of the salary scale, requiring a continuum of attainable workforce housing.
- Continued modernisation and liberalisation throughout the region. Saudi Arabia has demonstrated success with its Vision 2030 plan, which aims to make the Kingdom more business and tourism friendly.
What are the key benefits in terms of digitalisation or use of AI in the hospitality sector, as it is a more guest experience approach?
When fully realised, AI has the potential to transform every aspect of hospitality. It helps us to reconnect as humans using technology. While it’s hard to know where AI’s strengths and regulations will ultimately lie, we can already see that:
- Businesses are building new revenue streams with AI, targeting ways to delight their customers and solve problems;
- Workers who use AI are more efficient with their craft (especially remedial tasks), freeing them up to outperform on strategy and detailed execution;
- Travellers are using artificial intelligence to find and book accommodations, enjoy seamless experiences across multiple vendors, and connect better with locals on the ground.
Whom do you see using ChatGPT and AI? Are they more Gen Z?
The short answer is Gen Z first, with older populations adopting AI over time. We have seen this pattern play out many times with technology, such as personal computers, social media and smartphones. Early adopters test the technology, doomers declare it dead, the technology improves, and eventually gains mainstream adoption. Gen Z will beta-test the best uses of the technology, then innovate and monetise ways to make AI ubiquitous. If AI follows adoption arcs similar to computers and cell phones, it will go mainstream in a few short years. If it’s more like social media, younger generations may eventually abandon early brands like ChatGPT in favour of niche