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Wed 30 Oct 2019 09:24 AM

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AI ready to revolutionise hospitality industry, says Stirling Hospitality Advisors MD

Donald Bremner admits the technology is yet to take off across the entire industry

AI ready to revolutionise hospitality industry, says Stirling Hospitality Advisors MD

Donald Bremner, managing director of Stirling Hospitality Advisors, second from right, at the Arabian Business forum Success 2020.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to revolutionise the hospitality industry, according to Donald Bremner, managing director of Stirling Hospitality Advisors.

Bremner was speaking during a panel discussion entitled, ‘Embracing new technological innovations to deliver success’ at the Arabian Business forum Success 2020.

He said, from his 20 years’ experience, the hospitality industry, as a whole, wasn’t embracing new technology.

“We’re still using computer models from when I was an analyst in 2000 in New York. The quality of information and the quality of data management has really got a long way to come in hospitality,” he said.

Bremner has previously worked for the Jumeirah Group and Intercontinental Hotels and created his own hospitality advisory firm which merged with RAK Hospitality Holding.

And while guest services are making use of cutting edge technology, including smart devices and Internet of Things, he admitted he is working on implementation further down the chain.

He said: “What I am most focused on and what is pertinent in AI and data, our industry is not just about serving guests.

“My industry I advise on is the investment in hospitality and the investment in hospitality is about construction, it’s about design, it’s about MEP and engineering. It’s about brand management and the execution of the financial strategy, feasibility strategies etc.

“All of those industries are sitting in silence. All of those industries are sitting with data sets that are really important to their industries, construction, design, how big, what’s the build up area, how many square feet per kitchen.

“And then there’s the operations where they start talking about which segment am I selling to, who’s my customer, who’s my nationality mix etc.

“Those two never speak to eachother.”

He said it was only when they come together that AI can be used in a most effective way.

“Those metrics will all be layered out and put into a data set that is readable and that is inter-relatable so that we can then identify where those benchmarks don’t work,” he said.

“That’s small scale, but put that into a Marriott, put that into Aqua, our that into all of those organisations and then I’m no longer talking about Deira and 15 hotels, I’m talking about all hotels across all markets and then I can start putting AI in and join the dots.”

Also on the panel were Dr Jose Oriol Lopez Berengueres, professor of Robotics, UAE University; Fadi Hani, Vice President - Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Avaya; Peter DeBenedictus, CMO - Middle East & Africa, Microsoft; and Martin Adams, founder, Codec.

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