Food for Thought: How Soon Will Hospitality Embrace AI and Robotics?
By Max Starkov
Wednesday, 21st February 2024

By 2025, over 85 million existing jobs will be lost due to the seismic shift toward AI, robotization and automation, according to estimates in the 'Future of Jobs Report' published by the World Economic Forum.

In 2023 Labor costs consumed 1/3 of hotel revenue and AI, robotization and automation are becoming increasingly appealing to hotel owners and operators.

I believe at this time there are three main impediments to fast adoption of AI and robotization in our industry:

  1. reluctance to invest in new technologies by real-estate minded owners and operators,
  1. lack of understanding and fear of new technology: “Who will deal with it? I don’t have trained staff to deal with it. It makes operations very complex”, etc., and
  1. The labor unions in major metropolitan areas with highly-unionized hospitality labor force are dead set against any AI, robotization and automation or any technology advancement that can reduce the number of paying members.

In my view, none of the above can stop the rapid advancements in the adoption of AI, robotics and automation in our industry, in the same manner as the Luddite movement in early 19th century England could not stop the First Industrial Revolution.

Max Starkov
Hospitality & Online Travel Tech Consultant & Strategist

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