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Brittain Resorts & Hotels Talks AI

It took three rigorous years of evaluating various systems and implementation before Brittain was ready to roll out its technology matrix.
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Recently, Brittain Resorts & Hotels announced the introduction of an AI-driven business intelligence technology matrix. The new matrix includes multiple platforms, including guest data, social media management, guest messaging communication, revenue management, CRS, customer relationship management, market data, parity management, payroll and HR systems. For each, AI has been applied to improve the respective processes. For example, AI can analyze guest preferences and behaviors to automate and personalize marketing campaigns or optimize rate management by analyzing vast datasets, predict market demand, and adjust pricing strategies in real-time to maximize revenue. The system will run under Power BI, a robust data visualization and business analytics tool developed by Microsoft that connects to multiple data sources, allowing users to aggregate, analyze, visualize and share insights through interactive dashboards and reports.

To learn more about this new technology, Hospitality Technology spoke with Patrick Norton, VP of Sales & Marketing, Brittain Resorts & Hotels.

Is this Brittain's first comprehensive use of AI?
We've been leveraging AI disciplines, especially machine learning, for several years. However, this is our first true comprehensive suite of AI-powered technology. For years, we've been refining our technology matrix, witnessing AI's progression from a component of that matrix to its current role as the driving force. The recent advancements in generative AI have accelerated it’s role in our launch. As the hospitality industry grows increasingly complex, the imperative to gather and analyze intricate customer profile data has never been more crucial for success.

Did you partner with an AI provider or was this solution completely developed in-house?
We take immense pride in our technology partners. The synergy of our suite of products, combined with our in-house expertise, has culminated in a unique Matrix crafted exclusively by Brittain Resorts & Hotels. Within this technology suite, we are honored to collaborate with AI and business intelligence stalwarts such as Revinate, Duetto, Power BI, and Guestdesk.

What are some of your favorite aspects of this technology?
Generative AI has predominantly piqued the public's curiosity due to its potential for creative production. While the creative facets of the industry are undoubtedly exciting, it's frequently the fundamental, nitty-gritty tasks that drive genuine revenue growth. As previously noted, this demands extensive data analysis, a task where AI proves invaluable. Tasks such as revenue management, which once required teams hours or even days to calculate and adjust rates, can now be accomplished in just a few seconds.

How long has the team been working to develop and implement this tech?
The Brittain Technology Matrix resulted from three rigorous years of evaluating various systems and implementation. Initially projected to take just a year, the process was postponed due to the impacts of COVID. In retrospect, this delay inadvertently provided us the chance to refine and bolster the system prior to its full-fledged launch.

Was it a relatively quick and easy process? Were there unexpected challenges? How did you overcome them?
"Nothing good comes easy," and the rollout of the Brittain Technology Matrix is a testament to that. While we take pride in our creation and are confident that future clients will reap the rewards of our diligence, the journey to integrate hundreds of thousands of data points across diverse products and systems was involved and protracted. Our bold aim was to revamp the PMS, CRS, CMS, CRM, DAM, and RMS at 15 beta resorts, encompassing 4,000 units, all within a 6-month timeframe. Although this target might have seemed aggressive, it paved the way for a streamlined implementation timeline and system.

As you look to the future, how do you see AI helping the hospitality industry? Are there any possible drawbacks?
As highlighted earlier, generative AI, especially in content creation, will likely be a widely adopted tool and can act as a leveler across the industry. However, the true distinction will be drawn by those who harness AI to foster efficiencies, especially in labor management and data analysis. It's not our intention to deploy AI simply to cut down on labor. Instead, we aim to utilize AI to complement and amplify the capabilities of our existing workforce to boost revenue. Our objective is to bolster profitability not just through cost savings but primarily by catalyzing revenue growth.

Any thoughts you'd like to share on generative AI?

Nothing in modern memory parallels the transformation the industry is currently undergoing and is poised to experience. The nearest point of reference might be the launch of Google and how it revolutionized the travel sector. Yet, this leap into generative AI seems leagues beyond in terms of the potential opportunities it presents for hospitality evolution. I foresee that hotels may lag behind, reminiscent of the early days of social media when numerous travel entities grappled with grasping its essence – a struggle some sadly continue to face. AI is set to redefine how we market and operate our properties. While there's a prevailing apprehension that AI intends to supplant human roles, I don’t believe that’s the case. AI is a potent tool that, when adeptly employed, can amplify the efficacy and productivity of you and your team. As wisely said by a speaker at a recent conference I attended: "AI won't replace you, but someone using AI might."

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