Study: Hotel guests are most accepting of AI technology with perceived benefits

AI could change hotel experiences by booking reservations, suggesting transportation and overall convenience.


A University of Houston study reveals that AI technology in the hotel industry, which provides more convenience for the consumer, is most accepted by hotel guests when the technology has perceived ethics and benefits.

Cristian Morosan is a professor at the University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership. He said a lot of present-day consumers appreciate a more convenient vacation.

"When you're traveling, you have to make a lot of these self-decisions," he said. "Deciding where to go to eat, deciding what to drink, where to meet and what time, what public transportation to have, and so on, right? So all of these self-decisions become bottlenecks in the service experience. What we want to offer as a business [is] basically a frictionless experience."

According to a report from PwC, AI could add nearly $16 trillion to the global economy by 2030 through enhancements, increased consumer personalization, and affordability over time.

"So we wanted to figure out to what extent people accept this kind of stuff, right?" he said. "If you go to a hotel and you just arrived, the TV in the room will say, ‘Hello Cristian, welcome to our property. We just made a reservation for you at this restaurant. And we know that you've never been there, but we think that you may like it because everybody like you likes it.'"

However, despite the convenience, Morosan said consumers can be skeptical about data security. He said customers most appreciated transparency and accountability about data privacy. AI technology was more welcome to consumers who received benefits as well.

"We as humans tend to disclose a lot more information than initially we are thinking about," he said. "That's usually what happens when we face benefits related to the use of AI."

Currently, AI in the hotel industry can be used in a variety of ways. Sceptre Hospitality Resources, which is headquartered in Houston, uses AI to improve the way reservations are handled at hotels. Morosan said this kind of AI was around before server robots like the one at the UH Hilton Hotel's Eric's Restaurant existed.

"Imagine you want to book a vacation..." Morosan said. "… You see a deal that you like. And then you're gonna book, but booking at this time is completely risk free for you."

Morosan said for the hotel, there is a high risk because the consumer can often cancel at any time despite their reservation. The job of the AI is to determine whether a consumer is high or low risk for the hotel, so that they can then offer the consumer deals to secure their stay at a hotel.

"Since [the consumer's] reservation is high risk, how can we make it low risk?" he said. "We go back to what research says... And so what benefits do we offer [the consumer] in order for them to commit to buying?"

Patricia Ortiz

Patricia Ortiz


Patricia Ortiz is a daily reporter for News 88.7. Her work includes a variety of topics including transportation, technology, energy, immigration and education. Patricia graduated from the University of Houston in Fall 2022 with a Bachelor's in Journalism. She spent most of her college career at the university's literary magazine,...

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