Mobile technology should be used to engage with guests and enhance guest experiences, not replace human interaction, said Jean-Pierre Aramouni, Tink Labs managing director Middle East, during a workshop on innovation, entitled “Using mobile technology to deliver the ultimate guest experience” at the 2017 Qatar Hospitality Summit.
Workshop participants, ranging from hotel managers to rooms division heads and sales and marketing executives, agreed that the “ultimate” hotel guest experience “comes from the heart”, citing the words “authenticity”, “customisation” and “personalisation.” Participants also volunteered the information that hotel guests these days “just want things they want to get done.”
“They just want their requests to get done,” said one hotelier at the workshop. “Communication with them can now be done via WhatsApp. Sometimes they don’t even use emails anymore.”
With travellers today who expect friction-free and on-demand functionality, Aramouni highlighted the need for investment in mobile technology and connectivity that offers a real-time closed loop interactive system with guests. He cautioned that mobile technology and devices should not be meant to replace human interaction between hotel staff and guests but should be utilised to "enhance" the hotel's interaction with guests.
Such technology exists with Tink Labs’ handy, a smart mobile device which is available to hotels on a subscription basis and offered for free to guests, Aramouni revealed to workshop participants. Pilots have been conducted with hotels in the UAE in preparation for a roll-out to markets in the region, including Qatar, he disclosed.
Approximately 200 of Qatar’s hoteliers and hospitality providers convened at the Grand Hyatt Doha on April 11, 2017 for the seventh annual Hotelier Middle East Qatar Hospitality Summit, a day of industry presentations, panel discussions and workshops dealing with issues and developments in Qatar’s evolving tourism industry landscape. The event was sponsored by exhibitors: Pulsar Foodstuff, The Gourmet Olive Market, A. Ronai, KTC Hospitality Division, Matrix Asset Management Solution, Isukoshi, Grand Strength, Langel and Technogym, as well as workshop sponsor Tink Labs and lunch sponsor Qatar National Import and Export Company.