Ascott hopes to launch AI in the Middle East

The robots are being tested out in China before the company rolls them further afield

Ascott Park Place Dubai.
Ascott Park Place Dubai.

The Ascott Limited (Ascott) believes that robot helpers are a game changer for the hospitality industry. Service robots are being tested in Chinese properties — Ascott Raffles City Beijing and Ascott IFC Guangzhou —with a view to roll out in the Middle East.

The hotel residence company is trying out artificial intelligence, with a view to create more efficient operations and better customer experiences, a statement from the company said.

Ascott’s regional general manager for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey Vincent Miccolis told Hotelier Middle East at Arabian Travel Market that tests are being conducted by Ascott in China using service robots and if those trials turn out are successful, the company’s technology could make its way to the Middle East.

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Service delivery for its guests is at the core of Ascott’s philosophy and automated services can play a role in improving operations in the hospitality industry, Miccolis further explained.

After noticing improvements in its operations at Chinese properties as a result of the robot trials, Ascott is now actively looking for Middle East partners to provide robotic expertise in the region.

“We are following the progress at our Chinese properties with interest and as automation becomes an integral part of business, Ascott is leading the way in exploring new technologies across the serviced residence sector,” Miccolis noted.

The robots can move around independently, including use the elevators, deliver items to apartments such as slippers and groceries, and collect laundry. They can also provide information about facilities within the property and its surroundings, essentially playing the role of concierge, including greeting guests as they arrive.

In terms of success, when it comes to robots performing tasks usually performed by trained service staff, Ascott revealed that out of 165,000 service tasks carried out by the robots at trial properties, 98.64% have been successful.

“One of the key takeaways that we are finding from the robot trials is that they are efficient at carrying out simple duties, so that our human colleagues can focus on providing individually tailored services for our guests and really delivering service from the heart,” explains Miccolis.

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